A few years ago, driving down the interstate from Minnesota to Illinois, a few hours of scenery into Wisconsin, a simple sign that just said APPLES in big red letters lured me off-road, past cranberry bogs, and to Rex’s barn where the sweet smell of apples invited me in. Since then, whenever I’m traveling this route in fall, I try to stop for apples – and did just that on my way home on Sunday.
I pulled into the drive, past the farmhouse, and to the barn, the cool Autumn air wafting in through the car windows, a family was backing their van out, leaving me a very nice space to park. They, and others, were on the midwest fall adventure of picking their own apples. Seeing them brought back memories of doing the same when our girls were young.
The barn was bustling with activity when I walked in. Apples were rolling down the washer and Rex family members were explaining the process to bright eyed youngsters. I stepped into the cooling area, glad to have put on my jacket, sampled a few apples and cider before picking a bag of Cortland apples and a jumbo head of cabbage.
There was an “honor” box for purchases, but, I waited for a young lady to tally my purchase. I really just wanted to soak in the atmosphere of an apple orchard in fall, content in my haul – and that I wasn’t the one out in the orchard doing all the hard work!
Tom came home last night, with another even bigger bag of Cortlands, having stopped as well on his journey down the interstate. We are set with apples for some time here on the Cutoff.
Apple crisp, applesauce, and just plain eating apples out-of-hand are on the menu. I’ve had a taste for an apple Dutch pancake, all puffed up and steamy from the oven, with a little dusting of powdered sugar on top. My favorite recipe for Dutch apple pancakes is from P. Allen Smith and can be found here. The picture below is from the site. I use my cast iron skillet and omit the caramel sauce.
Do you have some favorite apple baking recipes?
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