Friday, September 21, 2007
Apple Picking Season
Today I remembered that "Apple Day" was being celebrated at one of my favorite farms in Princeton, New Jersey this weekend. Springridge Farm in Milton, Ontario sent me their latest newsletter and put me in an apple picking kind of mood. I took a drive to Tougas Farm in Northborough, Massachusetts picked some wonderful apples, and brought them home to make a pie. Of course I took a bunch of photographs because the images were just too sensational not to memorize. Tougas Farm have over twenty different kinds of apples, can you imagine?
I have always loved apples, and especially when they were baked in a pie by my Grandmother and served hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. My Grandfather preferred his piece of apple pie served with a chunk of cheddar cheese. Either way, the fall, always brings back the memory of the smell of apple pie baking. Macintosh was Grandma's preferred ingredient, I love the way Gala apples make a pie taste and sometimes I like to make a pie using several different kinds. Cortland, Gala, Macintosh, and a nice big Granny Smith apple thrown in for a little tartness.
Over the years I have found some wonderful farms where we could pick apples. When we lived in Lawrenceville, New Jersey there was a wonderful place called Terune's in Princeton. The girls loved the place because in addition to the fruit trees and wonderful farm stand, there were always a dozen kittens to play with. In fact, we found our cat Mittens through Terunes Farm seventeen years ago.
This weekend is the Apple Day celebration at Terunes, and if you are near Princeton, I would recommend you go there to enjoy the fun.
One of my favorite recipes from Terunes was their Apple Cream Coffeecake.
Apple Cream Coffeecake
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
In small bowl, mix nuts, cinnamon and ½ cup sugar. Grease well 9-inch angel food pan. Heat oven to 375°.
In bowl with electric mixer at high speed, beat butter creamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, while beating mixture until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl and beaters occasionally with spatula. Add eggs one by one then vanilla, beating until blended. Sift flour with baking powder, salt, baking soda; then at low speed, beat this into batter, alternating with sour cream. Spread half of batter in pan, top with pared, cored, thinly sliced apples. Top with half of nut mixture, rest of batter, then rest of nut mixture. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes our clean. Remove cake from oven. Let stand in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Loosen cake from pan and let cool.
Living in Ontario was such a treat, and my girls were little but old enough to enjoy Springridge Farm. Ashley was seven and Sarah was nine when we lived in Oakville. Springridge Farm had this wonderful wagon ride to the fruit trees, escorted by a tractor, which really enticed my daughters. Their fruit stand, bakery and gift store is amazing, and my mouth waters as I remember their fruit tarts.
They also had wonderful Apple Streusel Pie, which I found the recipe for on their web site:
Apple Streusel Pie
½ cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp flour
Few grains salt
6 cups pared and sliced apples
½ cup flour
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter
Mix together sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt. Toss with apples: place in unbaked, unpricked pastry shell. Combine sugar and flour; cut in butter to make crumbs. Sprinkle over the pie filling. Bake at 425F for 35 to 40 minutes.
As I write this post I can smell the aroma of apple pie baking, and I am on my way into the kitchen to do just that. I hope you enjoy this season, whether you are near an apple farm or can purchase fresh crisp apples in a store nearby...Happy Apple Pie.
The song for this post is Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree by the Glenn MIller band.