Saturday, May 25, 2013

Recipes for Alice and her Bramble Farm Apples - in Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas

Practical Orchard Quilt Block
During the month of May, Quilters' Book Club members are reading and discussing Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas.  Alice Bullock, Mother Bullock, Annie, and Joybell keep busy harvesting apples from Bramble Farm apple trees.  They dry apples and make applesauce, apple butter, and cider and still have apples left.  Quilters' Book Club members offer suggestions for recipes to use all those delicious apples:
Member Char says here’s a Crock-Pot dish that serves 4-6 – great for cooler summer cooking!  (Wouldn't Alice have loved a slow cooker?) 

Char’s Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

1-1/2 pounds smoked sausage, 2" lengths
3 cooking apples, cut in eighths
1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use a little less)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup apple juice

1.  Layer sausage, apples, cabbage and onion in slow cooker in the order listed.
2.  Sprinkle with brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Pour the apple juice over all. Do not stir.
3.  Cover and cook LOW 6-8 hrs or HIGH 3-4 hours.

May double recipe for 5 qt. or larger slow cooker.
Broken Sugar Bowl Quilt Block
Member Lisa from Georgia has this to say about her Grandma Miller’s recipe for Fried Apple Pies:

“I was surprised to read that they did not make Fried Apple Pies, which was a very popular recipe in the south for those that had apple trees.

“I used to love going to Grandma Miller's house..step grandma.  We would pick the apples from her apple trees and she, her two twin daughters, and my mom would cook those apples up into applesauce, apple pie filling, and also dry some. 

“We kids begged for the fried apple pies every time we went there. 

“The recipe is really easy and yet I do not have Grandma Miller’s recipe.  She died when I was 16 and too young to know any better than to ask for a recipe.  I do own a quilt she made back in the 30's though.  I was too young and dumb to ask about quilting back then, too, from her.

“But anywhoooo..she always made pie dough for the fried pies until those canned biscuits came out.  Oh, those women of those times loved when those canned biscuits came out.  They could make their fried pies a lot easier.  That's what Grandma Miller did, and we no longer begged for her pies after the first batch with canned biscuits.  No comparison to actual pie dough." 

Lisa’s Grandma Miller’s Fried Apple Pies

1.  So, the recipe is to make a real pie dough. 
2.  Cook up your apples as you would for a pie filling.  Or, you can use canned pie filling, which does work well in these. 
3.  Then roll out the dough into as big of rounds as you prefer. 
4.  Fill with the apple pie filling and crimp the edges. 
5.  Then fry in some shortening on both sides in a skillet until the dough turns golden.

We have a restaurant here in Atlanta, Georgia that has been around for a long time called The Varsity.  It's across the street from Georgia Tech.  They have fried apple and peach pies...just like Grandma Miller used to make.  We would get them there when we were not at her house.  We lived about 1 1/2 hours from her.  We still get our fried pies from The Varsity if we don't make them ourselves around these here parts.  LOL!
How, amid all the hardship and constant work, do the women of Bramble Farm manage to bear up and even be cheerful?  What helps you cope with hardships and maintain a cheerful attitude?  Inquiring minds want to know!  Answer in the comments section below.  If you are reading this via email, remember to click the blog title to comment and read the comments of others.
By commenting, you are also entering a giveaway for Jennifer Chiaverini's book, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.  The winner will be announced June 1. 

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.


  1. Great recipe! I love adding a bit of fruit to a meat dish for added flavor and a bit of sweetness. The blocks are great as well. You make so many great blocks. I enjoy popping in and looking at your blog.

  2. Ohhh apples! Years ago a friend of mine and I decided we were bored with plain ol' applesauce, so we invented a new recipe....Apple Pie applesauce and canned it. Holy Smokes Batman! Get a jar of it, put it in the refrig to get cold, serve with REAL whip cream or vanilla ice cream, to die for good!
    Anyway, I find that tough times are easier to withstand when one's attitude remains relatively light-hearted. A heavy, morose disposition seems to make the weight of tough times twice as heavy. Besides, "Tough times don't last, but tough people do!"

  3. Thank you for sharing your recipe for fried apple pies. My Dad was from here in TN and when we visited my grandma would make fried apple pies and they were worth our mouth watering for them. Well when we moved up North for my Dad's job my grandma gave the recipe to my Mom, who is from Pennsylvania and they never really did taste like grandma's. I always thought that it had to be the love and pride that she put in the recipe as well...thanks for the memory also.

  4. Sharon, must use a pie crust recipe. The kind where you cut the butter and shortening into the flour very carefully as to not melt the butter with your hands. That's why those women of the day back then loved those canned biscuits when they came out. It saved them a lot of time in the kitchen on making their fried pies but the tasts of biscuit dough was no comparison and actually took away from the pies. I see recipes today from Pillsbury using the canned biscuits and I think of those fried pies using them and won't look any further at the new recipe. LOL!

    To get through the tough times and to make my day go by, I kept a picture of my child on the beach when he was 1 year old toddling about on my desk. When the stress would start, I would look at that picture and remind myself why I was there. That same picture is here on my desk at home and I often look at it. It reminds me of the things that really matter in life which are the people we are blessed to have in our lives. If a person isn't blessing your life, then get them out of your life. Not everyone is worth having in your life.

  5. Being a northern girl I'd never heard of fried apple pies...sounds decadent. Love the orchard quilt block above, and the recipe for main dish sausage dish.
    But what I love best are the generational ties. Thank you for the reminiscent.

  6. I love regular apple pie or apple crisp and could never think about frying a pie. For better or worse, everything here is made from scratch.

    Hard times? I was told as a child, to "count my blessings". Often I was not sure what those were but with those instructions came the words. "I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet". Often in life, the only thing you have in your control is your attitude. Surely I was lucky to grow up with little so I can now appreciate the little things and a certain joy at making things that I want.

  7. Yes, I agree with Julie F. To survive in hardship you have to be thankful for what you DO have and know that there is always someone who is worse off than you are. If I need a little lift, I sometimes, listen to music, go outside, or call a friend. If I am somewhere suitable, I will take 15 minutes to relax and not think about anything... deep breaths.

  8. Hello, fellow readers! I've been a bit lax about commenting - but love all your thoughts!! Hard times - everyone has some. I trust the Lord - He will never leave me nor forsake me! He has blessed me immensely. Being Joyful is a Choice.


  9. I have suffered some miscarriages and a neo-natal loss (not trying to be a downer - sorry), and after that, it's all small stuff. And I remind myself of that all the time.

    As a child I was an optimist who was being raised by a pessimist who was such a pessimist, I don't think she'd acknowledge the existence of the glass! So that was a bit trying. But now as an adult, I find grate comfort and thankfulness in being able to be inherently happy. I know it's harder for some (like my sister).

  10. My husband always tells me that it will all work out okay in the end, and after 22 years together and many differing hard times he hasn't really been wrong (just about that, but not about some other things though!!) So I have to keep that foremost in my mind, as hard as it can be sometimes, and yes, knowing there is someone else who is in a worse position always puts it in perspective.

  11. I think you have to look for the 'good' not the hard things in life. The 'good' is what keeps us going.

  12. If you ever are anywhere close to Gainesville, TX, be sure to stop by and get a fried pie at The Original Fried Pie Company. It is on the courthouse square. We stop and get a fried pie every time we have to go north on I-35 to Oklahoma and beyond or west on Hwy 82 to west Texas. I think apricot is the best. I, too, have tried recipes for fried pies, but I have learned that any fried pie dough recipe with baking powder in it is going to taste like you used canned biscuits. I'm still searching for the perfect recipe.


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