There's an a-peel-ing product appearing on Aldi shelves — aside from the canned potatoes, of course — and fans of the grocery chain are finding lots of creative ways to use it.
Aldi's canned fried apples with cinnamon are a seasonal item that hits stores each year for the fall season. And, at just $1.29 per 14.5-ounce can, Aldi shoppers are adding the sweet ingredient to everything from apple crisps to pork recipes.
And since the product returned to stores on Sept. 8, several members of the Aldi fan group have shared their own creations made using the canned fried apples.
Some creative group members use other Aldi items like canned cinnamon rolls or boxed apple cinnamon muffin mix to create mouthwatering baked goods.
"Aldi cinnamon rolls and the canned fried apples = pie on a Tuesday," wrote one user, who shared photos of a beautiful apple pie created with canned cinnamon rolls and the sweet apple filling.
Others have shared ideas for using the canned apples as a topping for pork chops or a sweet breakfast treat served over yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
In the comment section of a post from earlier this year asking for suggestions on what to do with the apples, group members gave more than 70 suggestions for the seemingly versatile pantry item.
"Eat them as a side with pintos, mashed potatoes and cornbread," said one commenter.
"I had them over ice cream," said another.
Another group member suggested a simple slow-cooker meal: "Pork tenderloin, a can of fried apples and a bottle of (barbecue sauce) in a crockpot," they shared. "Super easy yummy meal."
On another post about the canned apples, members said they made apple dumplings, dump cake and cobbler, and topped waffles, pancakes and French toast with them.
Since the apples are a seasonal item, they can be found in what some Aldi enthusiasts jokingly call the "aisle of shame," the aisle of the store filled with seasonal grocery items and rotating home, clothing and garden products that seemingly have nowhere else to go inside the grocery store.
I recently grabbed a few cans of the fried apples with cinnamon at my local Aldi and brought them home to taste. The verdict? They're similar to apple pie filling in texture, but much less sugary and syrupy. The apple filling inside the can is much juicer and not as sticky as the liquid in apple pie filling. One Facebook user said they're "similar to the fried apples at Cracker Barrel."
The apples taste fresh and flavorful and their scent reminded me of a fragrant fall-themed apple-cinnamon candle. Immediately, I thought of the desserts I could make with my canned apples. I can't wait to warm them up and serve them over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, as the Aldi fans suggested.
And the pork recipes? I can see why the apples would work as a topping over pork loin or a pork roast, served with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. With the apple orchard vibes they channel, they'd be the perfect addition to a fall dinner.