I don’t know about other parts of the country, but fall is filled with fall foliage, back to school, sweater weather, and of course, applepicking.
*I first discovered snapdragons when one of my writing group members brought one to try. It was perfect. Bright red, creamy white inside, crisp. It snapped when you bit into it. I’m not sure if that’s where its name came from, but it fit.
I always try to get a few snapdragons. They are good for pies or just to grab one for a snack.
By the time we went picking this year, combined with the summer weather not cooperating, there were very few of them in the field. We walked about halfway down the aisle, and I was about to give up when a young boy, about twelve on the other side of the fencing heard me, and offered that there were snapdragons further down, and pointed out where we should go.We thanked him.
And then, he turned back and offered me the apple that was in his hand.
Really? I asked.
He nodded, and I took the apple.
I thanked him profusely, and added that snapdragons were my favorite. All the rest of the day, I thought about his generosity, and I enjoyed that apple more than any other that I’ve had in the past few years.
That is the apple in the bottom picture.
My second son was due on October 21st (in 2004). On the twenty-third, I was sitting in the backseat of our station wagon while he was sleeping in his car seat. His grandma, Dad, and older brother were in the orchard adjacent to us, amidst the trees, picking apples.
Each eating one from the tree as was (and continues to be) our tradition. We took a few photos of apples piled on him as he slept and compared the largest ones to his tiny head.
However, he was not two days old, but eleven having come nine days early after two excruciating days in unrecognized labor. His was the most difficult of my three pregnancies, but his kind and gentle personality, his compassion and willingness to help others makes all of that, not only worth it, but mostly forgotten. His birthday is filled with his favorite, cheesecake – the only child who gets a homemade birthday cake because I can do a great cheesecake – the best according to him. Thanks Philly!
We also always go applepicking and spend the rest of the season eating perfect New York apples in all its variety – cider, cider donuts, turnovers, pie, tarts, chutney, sliced, and the best way, right off the tree or right out of the bsket kept in the coolness of the back porch.
Pinterest has many great ideas for crafts and food. Most of them are simple, and when you see them you wonder why you hadn’t thought of them first.
That was definitely my response to these two great apple season recipes. I’m sharing the pictures from the Pinterest website, but the recipes I’m posting are my own variations.
Mini Caramel Apples
Pick your favorite kind of apple – my favorites are jonagold and snapdragon – and peel a few. Using a melon baller, scoop out the apple balls and put on a tray covered in parchment paper.
Put a lollipop stick into each ball.
Dip the mini apples into the caramel and put back onto the parchment paper.
Let cool. Refrigerate if necessary.
Mini Apple Pies
Mix your apples the way you would normally prepare them for a regular sized apple pie.
Use a one cup measuring cup to cut out circles from pie crust. I use Pillsbury pie crusts, but you can use whatever you like or make your own.
Press each circle into each section of a muffin tin.
Add the apple mixture with a small pat of butter.
Cover with another circle of crust or cut strips and do a lattice-work on top or use a mini cookie cutter and place a shape in the center of the pie.
Serve on its own or with ice cream or whipped cream, whichever your favorite is.
Oh so yummy!