Last winter was such a bitterly cold one that many of the fruit trees in central Illinois failed to produce flowers — and thus, fruit. We have been left scrabbling for apples close to home this fall, not really wanting the store-bought ones that tend to have been in cold storage for months and coated with chemicals and shiny waxes.
I loved the apples we picked a year ago at the rented farmstead where my parents keep some of their equipment. They are rosy, crisp, and just mildly sweet, in between a Granny Smith and a Gala in flavor. We stopped by last weekend to see what could be had, and it was apparent at once that these hardy trees had borne fruit, but someone else had cleared all they could reach before we got our chance. We were able to fill about a bucket and a half, thanks to my mom, who had thought to bring along a ladder, and everyone’s willingness to accept a lofty perch for plucking.
Now on to the fun of finding ways to consume them!
With hopes that apples won’t be so scarce for picking in your neck of the woods, here are links to some of the apple recipes we have especially enjoyed in past years:
- Sauteed Apples
- Apple-Sausage Stuffing
- Shredded Apple Muesli
- Apple Oven Cake (aka “Dutch Baby”)
- Unfussy Apple Cake
- Cinnamon Apple Cake (our fave birthday cake recipe)
- Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria
and links to a few more apple goodies I hope to try soon:
- Rosemary Apple Turnovers with Honey
- Brie, Apple, and Arugula Quesadillas
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples, Hazelnuts, and Brown Butter Vinaigrette