This month we celebrate all things related to this marvelous fruit.
CIDER HOUSE RULES
Lost Valley Cider Co. (408 W. Florida St., 885-5678) is Milwaukee’s initiation into hard cider bars. For ciderists whose choices are typically limited to Crispin or Strongbow, Lost Valley is the promised land. If you’d prefer something softer than a wooden seat at Lost Valley’s shiny concrete bar, plush
chairs arranged around casual end tables are a comfortable way to sip a cider flight (with 27 choices – sweet, dry, tart, spicy, etc. – on tap, the flights are a mini educational journey.) The bartender can also whip up a seasonal cider cocktail served in an adorable enamel mug – the Basil Smash was an herby, effervescent blend of Twisted Path organic gin, Ferro Farms cider, lemon and lots of fresh basil
clipped from a potted plant on the bar. Ciders are perhaps unexpectedly complex and versatile – and naturally gluten-free.
Weston’s Antique Apple Orchards (19760 W. National Ave.) has a crisp raison d’etre – to keep the fabric of antique varietal apples alive. Some trees at these historic orchards date to the late 1800s. Weston’s grows more than 150 apple varieties, sold at the West Allis, Shorewood and Westown farmers markets from mid-August and every Sunday (noon-5 p.m.) through November at its home stand on the orchard grounds in New Berlin. In September, you’ll find up to 35 varieties for sale, says Genevieve Weston. That includes the Strawberry Chenango, a fragrant eating apple from the 1700s, and the Pink Pearl (from 1944), whose flavor is reminiscent of grapefruit. In late September comes the Cornish Gilliflower – an 1800s varietal meant to be eaten at the end of a meal. Owing to dry weather this year, Weston expects it to taste like a juicy margarita. A saucy apple indeed.
MY OH PIE
Baking cookies or a cake isn’t like tackling a pie. No, a crust-based dessert is serious pastry business. The Pie Sessions – created by Honeypie co-owner Valeri Lucks – exists to solve your most troubling pie-making problems. Held in the kitchen of Honeypie’s sister restaurant Palomino (2491 S. Superior St.), classes are two hours long (and $40 each), during which students bake a 6-inch pie to take home. The fall session includes Crust Making 101 (Sept. 13), Fruit Fillings & Crumble Tops (Sept. 26), Advanced Pie Crust (Oct. 10) and Cream Pies & Crumb Crusts (Oct. 17). Other freebies include recipes, lots of tips and tricks, and a drink ticket for the bar, because alcohol and pie-making go really well together.