We have six apples on our apple tree this year. They’re lovely and red and almost ready to be picked.
This is cause to celebrate: We have orchard aspirations for our yard but also live in a neighbourhood overrun with deer so we’re just happy that our trees are still standing and haven’t been nibbled down to stumps.
While we wait for our trees to develop we’re happy to pick apples at a friend’s house and buy baskets at local markets.
In August we start with yellow transparent, the delicate, soft skinned apples that are the first to appear and make lovely galettes and apple sauce. Now we’re onto Paula Reds, crisp tart baking apples that are my favourite of all. We’ll move next to Cortlands and by the time Thanksgiving arrives we’ll be picking McIntosh apples at the u-pick near our camp.
My son has a “secret” tree somewhere near our home, on the edge of field, long forgotten by all but the local deer. It must be at least 100 years old and who knows what variety. The apples he gathers are blemished but big and perfect for making apple sauce. Someday soon I imagine he’ll arrive home with a peck’s worth tied up in his jacket.
Because we struggle so much with our own little trees we’re in awe of the abandoned trees along roadsides and fields that continue to produce bumper crops year after year without pruning or care.
There’s nothing like crisp fall apples and the smell of them cooking in the kitchen as the light fades late in the afternoon makes me feel like I have the cosiest house on earth.
Add a little spice to that smell and you’re practically in a Norman Rockwell painting.
Easy apple gingerbread
Slightly adapted from Happy Yolks
- 1/2 cup oil
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ½ cup boiling water
- 4 tart apples peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
- In another bowl whisk oil, molasses, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and ½ cup boiling water.
- Add the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
- Gently fold in the apples.
- Scrape batter into a greased and floured 9” round cake pan.
- Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes (or until a tester comes out clean)
Best eaten on the day it’s made.
If you love cooking with applies try our Apple cake with molasses cider glaze.
One more thing…
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Here’s to eating well, everyday,