It is that magical time of year again where the beautiful leaves fall to the ground and the cool weather activities are plenty. As we prepare for winter, it’s nice to have this season where we can still get outside and enjoy our time before the weather turns. One of those fall activities in this part of the world is apple picking! In this week’s guest post, Jenn Rollings takes us through her experience with apple picking this fall and what she made from her harvest. Thank you for sharing with us Jenn!
Fall is my favourite season. For me it means cooler weather, leggings with boots, and my favourite comforting cooking and baking. Fall is the season that inspired me to teach myself how to make pie from scratch, a talent that has apparently skipped a generation in my family to return in full flaky force in me. An apple pie, with locally-grown and picked-by-me apples, was my first creation. Since then, I have made apple picking an annual tradition, trying out different local orchards and many new recipes along the way.
This year, we visited Orchard Home Farm in St. George, Ontario. They have over a dozen varieties of apples, though their readiness varies throughout the season. We set our sights on some Empire apples for eating, and Northern Spy and Mutsu for baking. The rows of apple trees were bountiful and gorgeous. Though the day was cloudy, bright reds and greens on the trees made for a beautiful backdrop.
While picking the Northern Spy apples, I plucked a gorgeous gem that came away with some leaves still attached to its stem. As a lover of all things cute, I was immediately smitten with my perfect little cartoon apple and carried it around proudly. I still can’t bring myself to eat it. We seem to get used to apples since they are ubiquitous in the fruit world, but this reminded me that despite their simplicity, they are delicious little creations that are so satisfying to harvest and enjoy.
At Orchard Home Farm, you can also find pre-picked apples, apple cider, honey, locally-made preserves, and gourds for sale at their market. We noticed some freshly made butter tarts coming out of the back room that were selling as quickly as they appeared. I spent just over $10 for two big bags of 3 varieties of apples – plus the experience of getting to pick them myself!
Back at home, I have munched on a few apples as snacks, but mostly they are being turned into deliciously baked goodness. First, apple crisp, then apple fritter bread, and a classic apple pie to come this weekend.
Mutsu apples were my new discovery this season. In apple baked goods, I usually mix the varieties of apples I’m using for a more dynamic flavour and texture. Granny Smith apples are great because they tend to hold their shape when cooked and deliver a nice tart apple taste in the end. This year though, Mutsu have replaced my need for Granny Smith. Similar to a Granny Smith in appearance, though slightly sweeter, they are just as perfect for strong apple flavours. I’m so glad I discovered them while they were ripe.
Baking with apples can be whatever you want it to be. Tart or sweet, with nuts or raisins, add some cinnamon or nutmeg, cook them soft or leave them crunchy. There are so many ways to enjoy apples and it feels even better when you have hand-picked every single fruit. Follow the the above links to be inspired by the recipes I used in my baking, or seek out an orchard local to you to snag some apples before they’re gone!
Thanks again Jenn for sharing your experience and the recipes you used! I can’t wait to try them. 🙂
If you would like to do a guest post for Guliash Girl, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Facebook.