That autumn crisp is officially in the air. The pumpkin spiced lattes are available and apple-picking seems to be on the calendar for the weekend plans. Leaves are changing into their beautiful hues of red, orange, and yellow. Oh, and yes, football is on! These are all signs of fall. People celebrate the autumn equinox and prepare for the long winter ahead. Not to depress anyone here, of course, but that is what all the celebration is truly about; Harvesting the crops and enjoying the produce until the very end when the cold winds start nipping by.
There are many locations within the New York City area to visit for apple-picking depending on what you are looking for. For a nice, casual trip to a winery and apple-orchard, there is Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery in Warwick, NY. Get there early to beat the crowds. There is live music on the weekends to enjoy while tasting the wine and enjoying the apples. There is a $5 parking fee. Dogs are allowed on the lawn area only and must be on the leash. Another orchard to visit is Pennings Orchard, also located in Warwick, NY. There is a one bag limit per vehicle. The kids will enjoy the farm animals and other fun activities. Bring a picnic basket and bask in the greatness that is fall. If you’d like to try another Warwick Apple Orchard, visit Ochs Orchard. They have a petting zoo for the kids and sell homemade ice cream through October. There are so many locations to visit in Warwick, NY. While on your ride up there, check out the roadside farm stands offering local produce. Support our local farmers!
At a loss for what to do with all of your yummy picked apples? There are a few recipes you can find on Pinterest, as well as a few here:
· 4 peeled, chopped apples
· 1/3 cups sugar
· 2 TBSP flour
· ½ TSP cinnamon
· Dash of nutmeg
· 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
· 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into ½ inch cubes
· 1 TSP salt
· 1 TSP sugar
· 6 – 8 TBSP ice water
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Mix together the first 5 filling ingredients, making sure apples are well-coated.
3. Combine the flour, salt and sugar for the crust.
4. Add the butter and with your hands, crush the cold butter into the mixture until it resembles a coarse meal (butter will be cold so this will take some work).
5. Add the ice water 1 tbsp. at a time, until mixture begins to clump together.
6. Place dough onto a clean surface and knead with your palm. Divide dough into two mounds. Keeping working the dough. You will still see the chunks of butter in the dough but this is what you want.
7. Sprinkle a little flour around the mounds and wrap each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
8. Remove from the ‘fridge and let sit at room temperature.
9. Roll out the first mound with a rolling pin on a lightly-floured surface. You may need to add more flour if dough is sticking to surface.
10. Place onto a 9-inch pie plate and gently press the dough down to line the bottom and sides. Trim the edges.
11. Add the filling and then take the 2nd mound and roll out just as the 1st mound.
12. Carefully place the rolled-out 2nd mound on top of the filling and pinch the top and bottom of both mounds together to connect them. Press edge with your thumb or with a fork to make an interesting pattern. Cut 4 2-inch log slits at the top of the pie to allow steam to escape while baking.
13. Using whisked egg whites, smooth over top of pie for that shiny look.
14. Bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven. Be sure to keep a watchful eye towards the end to prevent any over-baking.
15. Let cool a bit and add vanilla bean ice cream and ENJOY!
Apple recipes are in abundance at this time of season and while we are celebrating Oktoberfest, you can try this link to a recipe for German-style applesauce, courtesy of ALLRECIPES.COM. If you want to try a potato pancake or pierogi, why not visit the Bear Mountain Oktoberfest Event happening right now. Click on the link for more information. There is a live German band playing all the favorites and vendors selling treats and pretty wares to catch your eye. Take in the scenic lake and colorful leaves that Hessian Lake has to offer. It isn’t a far ride up the Palisades Parkway to take part in all of the festivities.
Take a ride up to Warwick for some apples or enjoy some German music at Bear Mountain; whatever it is you choose to do, enjoy the nice, crisp fall weather…next up, HALLOWEEN!