Apples: The Jewels of Fall


| 10/16/2014 10:34:00 AM


Tags: Fall, Apples, Orchard, Fritters, Cake, Recipe, Memories, Baking, Chef Elizabeth,

Chef ElizabethFall is in full swing, and a late-autumn snow storm reminds me of what a fleeting season autumn really is … it only lasts a short time here in the crisp, Ontario country air. Before you know it, the brilliant  trees are bare and the leaves make a glowing carpet of red, gold and orange on the forest floor. After a busy summer and early fall canning and preserving grape jelly from my vines, hundreds of mason jars of heirloom tomato compote, spicy dilly beans, caramelized plum jam, peach barbecue sauce, hundreds of pounds of blueberries, basil puree, drying herbs including coriander seeds, I thought I never wanted to see another canning pot or mason jar again. I had canning and preserving fatigue!

apple picking

However, just when I thought I could not face another mason jar or piece of fruit, I had the incredible good fortune to discover an abandoned apple orchard at the back of the farm property. I gathered a crew, and we set out on a few visits to harvest the jewels that hung like Christmas bulbs from the tree: The yellow variety ware so large that the branches drooped under their weight.

apple hunters 

wild apples

We all had great fun trying to decide what variety they were. We were unable to come up with a consensus. What I do know is that they were insect free … yes, they had blemished skin, but the insides were pristine. Too many people expect perfect fruit and vegetables and refuse to buy any that are bruised or imperfect. As a small-scale organic farmer, I know that in its natural growing condition each piece has its own personality, appearance and taste. There is no generic perfect apple and, as a chef and farmer, I am glad. The red apples' flesh was a gorgeous pink hue. I was very excited about cooking with the apples to see if they would hold up to the heat.

michael
10/20/2014 12:39:49 AM

Your Glazed Chunky Apple Pecan Cake looks so wonderful. Thank you for another great recipe!





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