Both incredibly simple and versatile, these vanilla fried apples add a wonderful burst of comforting, delicious flavor to pancakes, yogurt and more. Or simply enjoy the warm fall flavors as they are!
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I've always loved apples, and we get through a lot of them in our house, but having young kids and living in apple-growing country has changed things. Going apple picking has become an annual tradition that we all love.
In fairness, I'm sure the boys enjoy the playing at the farm as much as the actual picking. The farm we generally go to has ride-on tractors, a hay maze and various other things that keep them busy.
That said, my eldest has become a pro apple picker and my younger son is quickly picking up the skills. They fill up our bag in record time and with perfect specimens. Then they do a good job getting though the apples in the weeks that follow.
Most of the time, they just eat the apples as they are, but we do also cook with them. I put them in pancakes often, and my eldest has requested my sour cream apple cake a few times for his birthday. They've never really got into apple sauce, but they do like both stewed and fried apples.
What's so special about vanilla fried apples?
This easy twist on fried apples really takes them up a notch. Vanilla and apples are perfect partners, with the warm flavor of vanilla is just what the gently soft, slightly buttery and sweet apples need. I know, cinnamon might be your go-to flavor, but believe me these are really worth trying instead. And you can always add a little cinnamon on top, too.
I have become pretty used to adding vanilla extract to almost any baking I do, but for this you really want vanilla paste. The flavor is more distinct and you get those lovely flecks of vanilla as well.
Your classic Southern fried apples will typically use more butter and sugar than I have here, but for me, this amount works just fine to get the lovely balance of flavors while being that little bit healthier.
Tips for making vanilla fried apples
- Try to cut the apples relatively evenly so that the slices cook at an even pace (you can also dice them, if you prefer).
- Have your lemon and a bowl ready for your apple spices so that you can squeeze on a little lemon juice as you cut them to help prevent browning.
- Warm the butter so that it is just starting to brown before you add the apples. This helps add a little extra flavor.
- Turn the apples regularly as they cook so they cook on all sides.
How would you serve these?
These vanilla fried apples would be perfect on top of pancakes or waffles or served with yogurt. You could add some granola as well to make a kind of breakfast parfait. I tried them with some quinoa and yogurt and they were good that way as well. But really, the flavors are so lovely you could eat them just as they are (and that may have happened with the extra...)
So, save an apple or two and give these vanilla fried apples a try!
Try these other easy apple recipes:
- Apple and cheddar cheese Yorkshire pudding
- Beet apple salad with maple vinaigrette
- Apple banana smoothie
- Plus get more fall recipes in the archives.
Vanilla fried apples
- 1 apple
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla paste
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- ½ tbsp unsalted butter
- Peel, core and slice the apples into even pieces (around 8 slices per half), or dice if you prefer.
- Put the slices of apple in a bowl as you cut them and add the lemon juice, tossing to spread the lemon on to all the pieces.
- Add the vanilla paste and sugar to the apples and toss to mix.
- Warm the butter in a medium-small skillet until just starting to brown. Add the apple slices and cook a few minutes on each side, turning relatively often to ensure they cook evenly. They are ready when they are tender and just starting to brown. Serve warm or room temperature.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Try these other apple recipes:
- Braised Chicken and Apples by Simple and Savory
- Overnight Hazelnut Apple Oatmeal by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Vegan Apple Almond Pancakes with Apple Maple Syrup by The Baking Fairy
- Apple Oatmeal Muffins by Our Good Life
- Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookies by An Affair from the Heart
- Caramel Apple Scones by Blogghetti
- Apple-Toffee Oatmeal Cookies by Books n' Cooks
- Caramel Apple Ice Cream by Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Chocolate Caramel Apple Slices with Ginger Cookie Sprinkles by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Apple Dumplings by Seduction in the Kitchen
- Oatmeal Apple Spice Bundt Cake by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
- Old-Fashioned Apple Fritters by Palatable Pastime
- Slow Cooker Apple Cranberry Spice Cake by Who Needs a Cape?
- Crockpot Caramel Apple Crisp by Tip Garden
- Apple Crumb Pie by Savory Moments
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Disclaimer: Thank you AppleWeek Sponsors: Envy Apples, Bob’s Red Mill, Republic of Tea, Flahavan’s Irish Oats, Nairn’s, Taylor & Colledge, Zyliss, Chocoley, and Torani for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are my own.