Frost. We haven't received one yet where I live near Johnson City, New York, but the outlying areas have received their frosts, and the trees will be bare all too soon.
For me, the best part of fall is the food. So today's topic will be: apples.
We are in apple growing country, and some of the apples grown here are heirloom varieties.
There is a farm near Ithaca, New York, that specializes in heirloom apples. At least once a year, we visit their booth at the Ithaca Farmers Market to pick up some unusual varieties.
But even in our local apple stores in the Binghamton area, we can purchase heirlooms such as 20 Ounce , a native NY variety from the 1800's.
There are many more apple varieties than you can find in your average supermarket. Many of the older varieties don't ship well, or don't keep well, or don't bear reliably year after year. But if you can find them, they are worth the effort.
Be sure, also, that you buy the right apple. You must ask yourself: How do you intend to use your apple?
Fresh eating? (my favorites are Honey Crisp, Autumn Crisp, and some of the eating heirlooms, especially the russets.)
Baking? (my favorite is Northern Spy, but they are just starting to come in, so I didn't have any on hand yesterday.) You can also try Rome and Cortland. And, Honey Crisps can be used in baking.
Tart Eating? Empire is your pick. It used to be my favorite apple.
I, personally, am not a fan of Red Delicious or MacIntosh, but they have their fans.
At one you pick place in this area, here is today's schedule.
"Saturday 11th - 9 am to 4 pm Empire, Cortland, Red & Golden Delicious, Ida Red, Jonagold, Northern Spy"
Which brings me to one of my favorite desserts, apple crisp. Last fall, I blogged about a Weight Watchers apple crisp recipe I was using. This year, I am experimenting with a different Weight Watchers recipe.
Doesn't this look yummy?
I decided to experiment with adding frozen blueberries (which I picked from a U Pick farm in August). At times, I've also put pears and/or blackberries into my apple crisps. Yesterday, I decided to make an apple crisp with what I had on hand - 20 ounce apples, and frozen blueberries.
Sorry for my friends outside the United States - you'll have to do your own conversions into metric, oven temperatures, etc.
|20 ounce apple and leaves from my yard|
2 pounds baking apples (I used 20 Ounce)
4 tbsp brown sugar (you can also use 1 tbsp sucralose as an alternative)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup frozen blueberries (I didn't thaw them)
Peel and slice cored apples. Mix all ingredients together. Place in a 9 inch square baking dish that has been oiled or buttered.
Top with topping. Keep in mind this is an adaptation of a low-cal topping. It may not suit you.
1 cup quick oats
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp light butter
1/2 tsp freshly ground allspice (since I, amazingly, didn't have cinnamon on hand)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix topping together and top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until the apple slices are the consistency you want. Let cool, unless you can't wait to eat it.
How did it do? The blueberries dyed the apples nearby purple, but it tasted good. The topping was "OK" (I'm still experimenting with getting these lower calorie toppings moist.) But next time, I may use Northern Spy apples. The 20 ounce holds its shape well, but I would prefer a moister apple.
Do you have a favorite apple? Do you have a favorite apple recipe?