Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Enjoying the Local Apple Harvest

  • During a recent fall drive in the country in the convertible to enjoy the last of the warm weather, we made a quick stop at Heritage Orchard.  While our favorite eating apple, Honey Crisp, will not be available for a couple of weeks, we picked up a bag of Wealthy apples for fall baking and a few of their tasty cinnamon sugar covered apple donuts.

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  • The apple orchard overlooking Lake Winnebago's east shore was renamed Heritage Orchard (formerly Erickson's) when Vern and Ann Gasch purchased the farm in 1976. Although the farm was never previously owned by the Gasch family, their roots ran deep with three generations involved in planting, care and operation of the orchard over the years. The original farm house was Vern's first home in 1947, the same year that the first trees were planted. The Heritage continues -- a family business for your family to enjoy.  "A Taste of Country" represents an inviting setting with fresh, wholesome products. Enjoy the green grass, fresh air a fantastic view and friendly, helpful people.
  • 920-849-2158 
  • N2963 Lakeshore Drive, Chilton, WI 53014

    A new favorite apple pie in recent years was served for Thanksgiving at our Memphis next-door-neighbor Sheila's home.   She had found it in an issue of Southern Living, but a similar recipe has been published in Cooking Light as well.   I have since searched for it on myrecipes.com a number of times:

  • Sheila's Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie

  • Crust:
  • 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
    Cooking spray
    1/3 cup all purpose flour
    1/3 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 1/2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces $
    5 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 pounds)
    1 cup granulated sugar, divided
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    3 large eggs $
    1 3/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 325º.
    To prepare crust, roll dough into a 14-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Place pie plate in refrigerator until ready to use.
    To prepare streusel, lightly spoon 1/3 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1/3 cup flour, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Place streusel in refrigerator.
    To prepare the filling, heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add sliced apple, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cook 10 minutes or until the apple is tender, stirring mixture occasionally. Spoon the apple mixture into prepared crust.
    Combine remaining 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Pour over apple mixture. Bake at 325º for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300º (do not remove pie from oven); sprinkle streusel over pie. Bake at 300º for 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 1 hour before serving.

    I've adapted one of my favorite oatmeal cookie recipes in attempts to replicate a caramel apple cookie I'd especially enjoyed with tasty results.

    Caramel Apple Oatmeal Cookies

    1  cup  butter, softened
    1 cup  granulated sugar
    1  cup  packed  light brown sugar
    2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
    2  large eggs
    1 3/4 cups  all-purpose flour
    1  teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon  nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon  ground cloves
    1  teaspoon  baking powder
    1/2  teaspoon  salt
    2  cups  quick oats
    1  cup  finely chopped apple
    1 pkg  (11 oz) caramel bits or small soft caramel candies, chopped

    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl; stir well.
    3. Place sugars and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture; beat at low speed until just combined. Fold in oats, chopped apple and caramel bits.
    4. Drop dough by 2 Tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Cool on pans 3 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.   Yield: 3 dozen
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