When I was in college, 18 and broke, I found the local Grocery Outlet in my college town. While it wasn’t the swellest place to go into (bare bones, no luxuries, treated every teen like a shoplifter…..), I learned how to make my meager food money stretch by shopping there first. Rather than the hipster natural food co-op store where I really wanted to be seen in – which I just couldn’t afford. Even 20+ years later I still shop at Grocery Outlet. But more because I crave the hunt. If my ancestors craved a hunt for saber tooth, I crave finding a small stock of Enjoy My Life bars for $1 a box…and laughing manically all the way to the checkout “$5 at the Hippy Hut? Hah! $1 here!”. Yes, I need a hobby I am sure….but hey, it’s the small things in life that get me excited 😉
So last year a new Grocery Outlet opened in my town. Unlike all the other GO’s I have shopped at, they somehow have made it a very pleasant place to shop. It is well-stocked, clean and everything changes often. What is funny is that the 16-year-old likes to shop with me there. He hates grocery shopping normally.
PS: Where are GO’s located? They have over 200 stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. How do they work? Well…if you know your prices of what stuff sells for retail, and you check expiration dates on everything, just take a stroll through. Like this past visit when I found the Teen’s favorite yogurt for 98 cents a tub, with an expiration date nearly 3 weeks away. I see it for nearly $5 a tub in grocery stores! Or 4 packs of Walker’s favorite yogurt, best buy date 4 days away…for 20 cents. Yes, 20 cents!! These cost $2.50 normally!
But anyhow, this recipe came out of a deal I found on canned apples. Yes, canned apples. Not apple pie filling – just apples and water, old-school style:
So what to make with them? Well they make really good apple pies, cobblers and crisps (as they are already cooked), but why not make a pie filling that could also be used as an ice cream, waffle and pancake topping? Or added to milk shakes…..this is just tasty even by the spoon.
Apple & Cherry Pie Filling and Topping
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch sea salt
- Dash ground nutmeg
- 1¼ cups apple juice
- ¼ cup Dried Cherries
- 2 cups canned apples (20-ounce can), drained
Add brown sugar thorough nutmeg to a medium saucepan. Whisk in apple juice, then cherries. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking often. Reduce heat to medium, whisk until thick.
Fold in apples, let heat through, stirring gently.
Take off heat, let cool before using. Store covered in refrigerator if using as a topping.
Makes 3 cups filling.