Now is the time to plan on picking apples! You may have your own trees, but if not, take a trip to your local apple orchard and enjoy the peaceful time you can have and the rewards that later come out of the kitchen.
We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.
It is all about the soil!
Apple Festival & Apple Recipes
by David Proctor & Laurie Calloway
October 14, 2021
Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine Published Weekly
The fall is the time to be outdoors as the summer temperatures wind down to cooler, more tolerable days.
Now is the time to plan on picking apples!
You may have your own trees, but if not, take a trip to your local apple orchard and enjoy the peaceful time you can have and the rewards that later come out of the kitchen.
Graves Mountain Apple Orchard
In the past, we have gone to Graves Mountain Apple Orchard to pick apples and if we timed it right, also attend the apple festival.
Not sure if that is going on this year with all the health concerns, but it seems to me this would be an ideal place to go to be healthy.
The festival has proven to be very popular, so much so that the apples had been picked clean by the time we made it last time.
As you can see from the pictures, they have breathtaking views.
by Laurie Calloway
In the 1994 blockbuster movie, Forrest Gump, Forrest’s friend, Bubba, enthusiastically educated him about all the ways to prepare shrimp.
And there were quite a few! However, if any food can rival shrimp in the number of ways it can be prepared, the many varieties of the humble apple would certainly be at the top of the list.
Most families have a favorite apple pie recipe, and more than likely, apple pies are probably the most popular way to make use of apples.
However, as delicious as they are, they can be a bit labor-intensive, especially if you prepare your own pastry for the crust.
So, if time is not on your side, here are two recipes that can be prepared fairly quickly, filling your home with the wonderful autumn aroma of cooking apples and spices in short order.
Baked Apples (This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled)
Two large, firm, crisp apples
Two tablespoons melted butter
Two tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
1 teaspoon cinnamon or ½ teaspoon apple pie spice
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons golden or dark raisins or dried blueberries
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)
Aluminum foil and cookie sheet
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and core apples, leaving at least a quarter to half-inch at the bottom of the apple. (Take care not to core all the way through.)
Melt two tablespoons of butter in the microwave oven in a small, microwave-safe bowl.
Add the brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, raisins or dried blueberries, and walnuts. Stir to combine.
Spoon the mixture into the cored apple, pressing it in tightly.
Wrap each apple individually in foil, and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. (I find this makes clean-up much easier.)
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. This time may vary due to differences in ovens, or in the size of your apples.
Remove from oven, cool for at least five minutes, then unwrap from foil and serve as is, or with whipped cream or ice cream.
Oatmeal Apple Crisp (Makes approximately eight servings)
Eight medium-sized apples of your choice. I used Gala. (If using Granny Smith apples, you may wish to increase the amount of sugar.)
Two cups old-fashioned (not quick oats) oatmeal
½ stick melted butter, and 2 tablespoons butter, divided
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)8 or 9-inch square casserole,
(or 9 by 12-inch casserole, or large deep-dish pie pan), sprayed with canola or vegetable cooking spray, or greased with butter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and core apples. (This is the most time-consuming step. However, I have a handy, little device that peels the apples lickety-spilt, then I core and slice them with an apple corer/slicer.
If you cook a lot with apples, or can applesauce, you may consider investing in a device that either peels and cores, or just peel apples.) Place the sliced apples in the greased casserole, and sprinkle the granulated sugar, flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
Toss to coat and mix, right in the casserole.
Dot the top of the apples with a tablespoon of butter cut them into small pieces.
Melt butter in the microwave using a medium-sized, microwave-safe mixing bowl.
Add oats, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and walnuts. Mix well to combine. Cover the apples in the casserole with the oat mixture.
Dot the top with a tablespoon of butter, cut into small pieces. (If desired, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and granulated sugar on the top.)
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
If you feel the topping is becoming too brown before the apples are cooked all the way through, cover with foil for the rest of the baking time.
Serve as is, or topped with cream, whipped cream, or spoon on top of your favorite ice cream!
With both of these recipes, walnuts can be substituted with chopped pecans.
Although the nuts are optional, unless you or a family member just does not like nuts, or is allergic, they make the finished product even more delicious.
Check It Out!
by Laurie Calloway
Use only fresh, ripe apples to get the best results.
Apples vary in their natural sweetness. When using sugar in any apple recipe, adjust according to taste. Some apples may require little or no sugar, others more than what is stated in the recipe.
Baking times and temperatures can often vary due to the variety, size, and freshness of your apples. It is a good idea to check on your recipe while the apples are cooking to prevent over-browning of crusts or toppings.
Mixing up different varieties of apples in pies, applesauce, or apple butter often makes a better tasting final product.
A gadget such as an apple peeler/corer can be well worth the investment if you bake a lot with apples, or can or freeze applesauce.
If you wonder about how many to pick, a bushel of apples is about 48 pounds.
This chart gives an idea of weights. Note: When it comes to cooking with apples, it may be helpful to know the following:
- 1 pound of apples = 2 large, 3 medium, or 4 to 5 small apples
- 1 pound of apples = 3 cups peeled and sliced apples
N.p., n.d. Web.
N.p., n.d. Web.
“Best Apples for Baking.” Best Apples Baking Cooking. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2021.
“Apple Harvest.” Graves Mountain Lodge. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2021.
“U.S. Apple Association.” U.S. Apple Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2021.