Fried Onions with Apples

Fried Onions with Apples in Bowl

A hundred years ago there was a limited selection of fruits and vegetables during the winter months.  Onions and apples are two foods that store well, and were frequently eaten during the winter – though I had never thought of them as being foods that would be combined in one recipe until I saw a recipe for Fried Onions with Apples in a hundred-year-old cookbook. I couldn’t picture what this recipe would taste like, so decided to give it a try.

The sweet tartness of the apples combined beautifully with the sharpness of the onions to make a tasty side dish. I served the Fried Onions with Apples with roast beef and it nicely complemented the meat.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Frined Onions with Apples
Source: Good Housekeepng’s Book of Menus, Recipes and Household Discoveries (1922)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Fried Onions with Apples

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

4 medium onions, sliced

3 large tart apples, peeled and sliced (I used Braeburn apples.)

2 tablespoons bacon fat or other fat (The old recipe called for meat drippings.)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup water

Heat fat in a skillet, then add the onion slices. Saute using medium heat until the onions begin to turn transparent, then add the apples, salt and water. Cover and cook until the apples are soft (10 – 15 minutes). Remove lid, increase heat to medium high, and fry until the water has evaporated and the onions and apples are a light brown; stir frequently.

22 thoughts on “Fried Onions with Apples

  1. A combination of apples and onions is the first step of my butternut squash soup. I cook them together until the flavors have melded, then add the squash and spices. Then, I puree all that and freeze it as a base for the soup — I add the milk and cream after I thaw a container of the base. The apple/onion combo really provides a nice flavor.

  2. This looks wonderful! My mom made something like it, and I’ve combined apples and onions a lot, in an apple, onion, and cheddar tart, as an appetizer on toasts, etc. They are a delicious combination, especially if you add a creamy, salty cheese!

  3. Knowing you have PA roots (as I do) I am surprised you haven’t had pork with apples and onions, very PA German. I love the combo but I admit I cannot imagine it with roast beef!

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