Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall + Orchards = Apple Pie

(The enchanting organic orchard at Fishkill Farms, Hopewell Junction, NY)
(Grassy apple lanes)
(Macintosh apples - slightly tart, but incredibly juicy)
(A view from below)
(An apple a day...)
(Luckily, we will be covered for more than a month)
(An early fall surprise, succulent, melt-in-your-mouth strawberries)
(I am pondering making strawberry jam)
(A beautiful array of colorful fall squashes)
(Before the leaves begin to color the landscape, mums are a great prelude)
(A very content city dog)

Fall is one of my favorite seasons, but just like spring, I feel it to be the most fleeting. Soon, the leaves will begin to change into shades of crimson, mustard and bright orange and then before you know it, they will be bare. What an excellent way to greet fall with one of my favorite outings - apple picking.  My boyfriend and I, along with his parents and our dog Miss Mickey wandered up to Fishkill Farms, in Hopewell Junction, NY about 60 minutes from the city.  We were greeted with acres upon acres of apples - Macintosh, Macoun and Spartan, take your pick.

We settled on Macintosh - the perfect apple for eating and baking (as my boyfriend's father Harry and I were having an apple-pie bake-off later that evening).

(Bathing beauties)
(There is nothing, I repeat nothing like homeade flakey pie crust)
(A labor of love)
(Before baking)
(Fall's heavenly goodness in a bite)

I love apple related desserts. Something about them propels me to want to layer on tissue thin sweaters and boots and sip bottom-less cups of coffee.  I am always looking for ways to perfect my apple pies from the season prior.  There are a few recipes out there that I am dying to try, like this and this but for me, there is always one must-have, crumb topping. Yes, it is loaded with butter and chewy brown sugar, but it reminds me of growing up and making pies with my mom - so I must keep the tradition rolling. 

I settled on this recipe, Apple Pie with Oat Streusal.  I was not disappointed - the addition of the 'generous pinch of salt' in the filling was a new ingredient that I had never added before, but much to my surprise it brought out the tartness in the Macintosh apples that might have been otherwards masked by the sugar.  And as far as the apple pie baking contest - I considered it a tie, so that mean a rematch is already scheduled for next year.

A few tips: Always taste the apples before adding the sugar! You never know how much sugar Mother Nature might have already added.  In this case, since I had literally plucked the apples from the tree a few hours prior (talk about food to table), I only added half of the recommended sugar.  Also, if you have an addiction problem to all things crumble, I recommend that you double the recipe for the Oat Streusal.  My philosophy - you can never have enough crumb topping.

No comments:

Post a Comment