Editor's Note: Welcome to this week's Amish Cook column. For fans of the column, just keep on reading. If you are only here for the recipe, you are also in the right spot. Just jump to the recipe and you'll get an amazing recipe for homemade Amish fruit bars!
This article is a part of "The Amish Cook Column", a weekly series of featuring a story & recipe from Gloria Yoder, Amish widow & mother of six from Flat Rock, Illinois
"Children, team up!"
They held hands by two and three; the two oldest each wore a backpack. I pulled a
roller suitcase with a handbag on top and carried Joshua with my free hand. I looked to the right, then to the left. This adventure was happening to us at long last! We made our way into the Indianapolis airport by the Southwest entrance. Walking on into the large entry doors, I blinked over the tears pushing at my eyelids-no, Daddy was not here as we had always thought he would be on this trip.
Our plan was not the same as God's. Since He makes all things well, I allowed myself to rest in His Sovereign power once more.
"Let's head for the restrooms while we wait for Uncle Tobias and his wife," I instructed. Our little caravan with matching aqua clothes tromped on back to the restrooms before returning to the huge windows, where the children were awestruck as they watched plane after plane take off into the great blue
"In a few hours, it will be our turn!" I reminded them.
Ever since our last visit to the Razvi family in Maryland four years before, we had a tugging to go back one day again. That time, the 11-hour drive was made through the night. The entire scene is forever etched in my mind as we traveled all night in a minivan with five car seats. It wasn't easy, but precious.
When we first learned about the Razvis, who adopted eight children plus had five of their own, and now mentor other adoptive families, Daniel didn't hesitate, "We need to learn from others who have adopted and come out on top!"
We had come home with new perspectives and zeal to minister to the needs in our home to give our adopted children a chance to heal and thrive.
Daniel and I talked about going back again for refreshment and new guidance.
Since Daniel went to be with Jesus, I have felt a keen sense of responsibility as a single parent and needed some refreshment. Daniel's oldest brother Tobias offered to go with us. Daniel had always dreamed of taking his children on an airplane ride, especially little Jesse, who never seemed to get his fill from climbing up as high as he dared or was allowed. Now the pieces were coming together. Now at the airport, one of the children soon spied Tobias' heading our direction; we gave them the
the warmest welcome ever.
Editor's Note: Air travel is rare among the Old Order Amish, but more commonly accepted among the New Order Amish, which Gloria is a member.
Getting our luggage checked in and through security took little time. The children were nervous, wondering if we accidentally brought an item in one of our backpacks that we could not keep or take with us on the plane. All went perfectly well.
We were soon at our gate for the 30-minute wait until loading time.
Walking down the long tunnel, as the children called it, was exhilarating. We soon found spots to settle down behind the wing, so the children could better watch down as the houses and trees 'grew small.' Joshua, at two years old, was a bit unsure about it all. As we taxied out to the runway, the
questions surfaced: "Can you tell us when the plane is no longer on the ground? Will we go faster than this for take-off?"
The moment came at last. The children chewed their gum to aid with popping ears, the change of altitude and watched with wide eyes as we sped down the highway and gently lifted into the air. It was a cloudy, drizzly day, so I was disappointed in not being able to see far. The disappointment lasted but for a moment. As we soared higher and passed through those bleak clouds, the sun shone brightly on
the clouds below, resulting in what has always been my highlight in traveling by airplane. Those brilliant clouds did not look the same from the top to the bottom. Could that be true in our lives? Our trials do not look the same from our earth-bound view as from God's complete perspective from
above. The reality of it all settled deep within.
The children did well, although the turbulence that lasted most of the one-hour and fifteen-minute flight duration was stressful. We were thankful for our safe arrival and delighted to find two of the Razvi's family members were waiting to pick us up and take us to their home, which was 1 1⁄4 hours away.
In no time, the youngest children were sound asleep and slept soundly. As we drove in their long lane, my heart was warmed by memories of Daniel, and our beautiful times on this farm swept over me.
We were greeted with much love and a warm welcome. Indeed their logo was made to fit; "Conquered by Love". The love could be felt and seen on all sides.
We did not know what the next three days would hold, but it was bound to be good.
Next week may be an excellent time to tour their farm and get a peek at life in their home and their interaction
with us as a family.
For now, enjoy the fruit bars, similar to what Julia and one of her new friends made together.
📋 Editor's Notes & Comments about Fruit Bars
Are you tired of buying fruit bars from the store that are loaded up with preservatives and artificial flavors? Want to try making your own delicious and healthy (well, everything is relative) fruit bars from scratch? Look no further than this ultimate guide to making your own fruit bars!
This recipe from The Amish Cook is customizable to your taste preferences. You can pretty much use any fruit filling in this recipe, and you can choose to drizzling a sweet glaze or not.
I have seen many Amish variations of fruit bars, one is super simple: One box yellow cake mix. Put a thin layer in cake pan, then put by teaspoon raspberry pie filling on top of the batter and bake. After it is finished, put thin layer of your favorite frosting on top.
There are also versions that use oatmeal to make the fruit squares.
📜 Step-by-Step Fruit Bars
These are a favorite and easy recipe among Amish cooks. Why? Because they are simple, economical, and portable. These bars can be made in minutes and then baked. Once baked they can be sliced into squares and packed into lunch pails, or taken to a potluck.
Another super aspect to these bars are their seasonality. They can be made with amazing strawberry-filled in season to become strawberry bars, or even zucchini in season, or at the end of the growing season, this can be turned into pumpkin squares. There are not many fruits this recipe won't work with!
Here are some tips to make your fruit bars even better:
- Choose a variety of fruits for the filling. This will add both flavor and visual appeal to your bars.
- Don't overbake the bars. They should be golden brown on top, but still slightly soft in the center.
- Let the bars cool completely before cutting and serving. This will help them hold together better.
🙋 Amish Fruit Bar FAQ
Pretty much. As long as it can be made into pie filling consistency and baked without a problem, use your imagine. Some fillings such as acidic oranges and grapefruits likely wouldn't do so well. I'd not try watermelon either!
Lots! Strawberries, raspberry, blackberries, mulberries, apple, pear, rhubarb, and even zucchini!
🖨️ Full Recipe
Delicious Amish Fruit Bars
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 ¾ cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 can pie filling
- Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla.
- Mix well then add flour,salt, and baking powder.
- Spread ¾ of batter on a greased 15"x10" pan.cover with pie filling.
- Drop spoonfuls of batter over filling.
- Bake at350 degrees for 35 minutes. If desired, drizzle with icing when bars are chilled.