It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is a mere 10 days away! I’m sure many of you are starting to menu plan for the ultimate cooking day in America! Whether you host Thanksgiving or travel to your loved one’s home, I hope some of your Thanksgiving plans include cooking with your littles! Part of what makes the holidays so special is spending time with family, and food is such an integral part of our traditions. Whether you set aside some special time to share a beloved family recipe with your children, or you are trying out a new recipe for the first time, I hope you and your family have memories from this year that you cherish for years to come.
I have seen many a recipe lately that call for “canned apple pie filling.” Now, I am a busy mama myself so I totally get the need for cutting corners at times, but I just have to say that I am NOT a fan of the canned stuff. Never have been. But I still want to make all the apple turnovers, popovers, etc., that seem so easy to prepare, and so many of them call for this ready-made ingredient.
So I thought to myself…surely I can find a way to make the apple pie filling myself, in a super fast way. That is how this recipe came to be! I use it in Sprouts Cooking School all the time! The kids chop the apples, we add some sugar and spices, pop it in the microwave and voila, it’s done! You can eat it as a baked apple dessert, put it one top of ice cream, put it in any type of pastry, pie dough…the options really are endless! I like to mash it up a little bit because I think the consistency is better and it helps reabsorb the juices of the apples but if you don’t want to take that step you can just drain the juices off. Note that each apple will have a different water content so it will be slightly different each time you make it.
I used to joke that when I was first cooking with my kids that I wanted to be like the Rice Krispie Treat commercial where everything was perfect and we were all serenely stirring marshmallows in harmony. The reality is that the kids end up a sticky disaster and moms generally get frustrated and end up shooing the kids out of the kitchen and finishing it themselves. #ricekrispietreatfail. So when you are first starting to cook with your kids it’s important to try to find recipes that they can be successful with. That helps them…and YOU…to not be as frustrated. Before you begin a recipe, ask yourself if you alone can be successful with that recipe before you add in extra sets of tiny hands. For example, if it is an apple pie recipe, are you an excellent pie maker? If you are, then try it with your kids! If you aren’t, and a lot of people aren’t…then pick something else! Try to find a recipe that is more simplistic than the pie but with similar flavors and have fun making that with your kiddos! That was my inspiration behind Sprouts. I take recipes I love and I make them easier for kids. I want kids to be successful in the kitchen, and it is my sincere hope that kids and parents will get in the kitchen and get cooking together!
In my next two videos, I’m going to show you a great recipe that you can make with your little ones as an alternative to apple pie, using this microwave apple pie filling. It has all the great flavors of an apple pie but it’s much easier for little hands to execute. So stay tuned! Until then, enjoy the apple pie filling and get excited to cook with your kiddos this Thanksgiving!