How to Make the Most of Apple Season This Year

Embrace this season’s “It” fruit in a multitude of apple-icious ways – picking, baking and festival-going.  

Four You-Pick-’Em Spots

1. Barthel Fruit Farm

12246 N. FARMDALE RD., MEQUON

September through October

Varieties: Paula Red, Gingergold, Blondee, Honeycrisp, Pippin, Golden Delicious, Snow Sweet and more

2. Peck & Bushel

5454 COUNTY RD. Q, COLGATE

Aug. 20 through mid-to-late October

30 apple varieties, all certified organi

3. Apple Holler

5006 S. SYLVANIA AVE., STURTEVANT

Mid-to-late August through October 

Varieties: McIntosh, Gala, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Golden Delicious and more

4. Rim’s Edge Orchard

W220 N10540 AMY BELLE RD., GERMANTOWN

September through October

Varieties: 27, including Honeycrisp, Cortland, SnowSweet, Ambrosia and Ida Red

 

Antique Hunting

A treasure that may have eluded you unless you’re a farmers market regular, 16-acre Weston’s Antique Apples in New Berlin earns its status as the oldest active orchard in Waukesha with varietals that date to the 1500s. Besides markets in West Allis and Shorewood, you can shop Sat-Sun (from Aug.-Nov.) at the Weston home stand (19760 W. National Ave., New Berlin, westonapples.com). Here are three heirlooms to look for, from spicy to nutty:   

1. Chenango Strawberry

Dating to the mid-1800s, this berry-red specimen is pretty much everything you’d want in an apple – crisp, sweet and juicy. Ripens mid-August-early October.

2. Ashmead’s Kernel

Not the prettiest apple, this small green russeted fruit, which originated in England in the 1700s, has nutty notes and is great for eating, cooking or cider-making. Ripens mid-October.

3. CaLville Blanc d’Hiver

The circa-1500s French varietal with a yellow skin and distinctive lumpy shape is sweet, spicy and ideal for pies and tarts, particularly tarte tatin. Ripens early to mid-October. 

Peck & Bushel; Photo by Sarah Stathas

A Perfect Baked Apple 

This recipe is simple and absolutely delish. Peeling the apple prevents the often-resulting chewy, shriveled skin. And making an apple cap helps the fruit cook evenly.

Ingredients

1 Honeycrisp or Granny Smith apple, washed and peeled

1 tbsp softened unsalted butter

2 tsp brown or coconut sugar

¼ tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

2 tbsp whole rolled oats

1 tbsp chopped pecans

1/2 cup hot water or apple cider 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. With a paring knife, slice off the top of the apple below the stem line (about an inch). Keep the top. Next, cut around the circumference of the core, removing the flesh and seeds but leaving a half-inch of apple at the bottom so you can make a hollow space for your filling. If your apple is not level, cut a small piece off the bottom to help it sit upright.
  3. In a small bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, oats and pecans and stir with a spoon. Add softened butter, mix with your fingers and form into a small log. Fill your apple cavity with the mixture. Put the apple top back on the apple.
  4. Place your filled apple upright inside a small, oven-safe ceramic or glass baking dish. Pour the hot water or cider into the dish.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on apple size and how soft you want it to be), checking periodically by piercing it with a fork.
  6. Let cool slightly. Top with a few drizzles of maple syrup and/or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s September issue.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.