fruit noun Apples preserved, stewed, or made into sauce.
1926 Wilson Cullowhee Wordlist = apples. “We have lots of fruit this year, but no peaches.” 1939 Hall Coll. White Oak NC Will you have some of the fruit [passing the apple sauce]. 1973 GSMNP 4:2:4 A lot of times we’d have applesauce. We called it fruit. 1973 Medford Long Hard Road 14 Apples, back in the old days, contributed a big part to the family living. It was just spoke of as “fruit”. You didn’t call it apple sauce. Apples fit into every meal, as well as to eat raw between meals-and at night, as we sat around the fire. They were dried, smoked, treated with sulfur or bleached. They were made into apple butter, jelly, cider, as well as pies of all kinds (including the “family” [or deep-dish] pie…) and fried pies, made from dried apples. There were canned and baked, as well as stewed. Most tempting to me was to bite into one raw. 1984 Dykeman and Stokely At Home 55 Called simply “fruit” by the early settlers, apples such as the favorite Limbertwigs and Milams gave both variety and nutrition to the pioneer diet.
Granny and Pap use the word fruit in the manner described in the dictionary entry. I can just hear Granny saying “Won’t you come down and eat dinner with us? Your Daddy had me open a jar of fruit and we’ve got a pan of fried taters and the biscuits are just about done.”