Fresh Apple Recipes That Go Beyond Basic Applesauce
Words Sarah Katz
There’s something special about marking a new season with a special activity. Classic, seasonal outings like apple picking have taken on new meaning for us now that we are parents. Sure, it means less hard cider, but we enjoy the season now by making these kid-friendly and kid-approved apple recipes.
Arriving home with bags upon bags of apples, I knew I’d have to get creative on putting them to use. Even our applesauce-obsessed girl couldn’t eat her way through this many apples. I put aside my dreams of baking the perfect apple pie (who has time for that?) and began the hunt for some fresh, simple apple recipes for kids to turn up our typical apple recipes. Below are some favorites we adapted from the pros to fit our family, and hopefully yours!
Apple Custard Recipe
Adapted from The Mess Is Ours
Our gal loved the surprise of a special dessert pudding made with the very apples she had picked herself. I make this recipe a bit more kid-friendly in a few easy steps. First, I peel and core the apples. Second, I cut up half of one apple into bite-size pieces. Finally, I either microwave, steam or sautée the apple pieces in a little cinnamon and butter to soften them before they are cooked in the custard, ensuring they’re extra soft for someone with only six teeth! Those of us with a full set also enjoyed it thoroughly.
Kid-Friendly Farro with Sweet Potatoes and Apples
Adapted from: Food & Wine
Apples are an amazingly versatile fruit and I love that this apple recipe pairs them with two of our favorite staples—Farro and Sweet Potatoes. I simplify and kid-ify this recipe by leaving out the cherries, nuts and parsley and swapping sherry for a little balsamic, but older kids might enjoy the additional textures and flavors. I typically let our gal enjoy picking up the individual pieces, which definitely require bibs with a food catching pocket. But I also use the Mash Maker Baby Food Mill to create an easy-to-eat mashed texture that we spoon feed to ensure some food actually makes it to her mouth.
Easy Apple Pudding Cake
Adapted from: Genius Kitchen
This is a super simple apple recipe that I’ve done two ways: a traditional sweet dessert and a more savory breakfast dish. Pair the savory version with some cheddar cheese and you have a full-flavor, kid-friendly meal. I also substitute maple syrup for the sugar and cut back on the butter, which made second helpings easier to justify. The cake stores well in the fridge and can be served room temperature so it’s a great on-the-go snack as well!
Simple & Delicious Apple Cheddar Omelet Recipe
One of my absolute favorite childhood comfort foods, I now make an apple cheddar omelet for my daughter pretty regularly. Something about the gooeyness of the cheddar with tart green apples is just pure perfection. Because you don’t need a lot of apple, I’ll often cut up the rest of it and store it in a sealed glass container so I can use the apples in other recipes and for snacking throughout the week.
We use chopped, peeled apples (some recipes call for making matchsticks using a mandoline) and a mild cheddar (versus sharp), but there are a ton of easy variations to fit your personal palate. I’ll let the omelet cool off a bit and then cut it into strips to make it an easy and delicious kid-friendly finger food.
Other Ideas for Using Up Your Extra Apples
- Make apple-ring pancakes—a fun and simple alternative to traditional pancake recipes.
- Grilled fruit is a thing—and it’s a dead-simple way to use up extra apples. Throw your apples on the grill right next to all of your other barbeque favorites—they’ll grill up as soft and add a flavorful addition to your meal.
- Offer a healthy dessert that cooks while you’re eating—just slice the apple in half, scoop out the center and bake it while you eat. Then top with cinnamon and honey, or dab of greek yogurt.
- Bring toffee apples to your next gathering—these are easy to make and will occupy all the kids as they puzzle over how to best tackle this tasty and sticky treat.
No matter the season, it’s always a good idea to have the right kid-friendly cooking tools on hand so you can and you little one can make kid-friendly versions of any number of tasty recipes.