... would be delicious if I could have any of the kinds we got over the weekend.
D and I went apple- picking at a local orchard about 20 minutes away from Little U. on the Prairie. It was the last warm Saturday I think we'll have till spring, so everyone seemed to be out and about among the trees. Coinci- dentally, BOTH of my sisters went apple-picking in Illinois and Ohio over the same weekend (nope, we didn't consult beforehand).
D and I did our best to pick varieties we can't normally find in the grocery store (this place claimed to have around 150!). The ones in season that we got were Keepsakes, Liberties, Horalsons, Suncrisps, Spigolds, Golden Glories, and Autumn Golds. Each of these tends to be a sweet-tart, crisp-fleshed apple -- excellent for munching fresh or using for pie.
Which is, of course, what we did.
I borrowed a recipe from Martha Stewart Living for an antique apple pie and altered it for convenience and to accommodate D's hypoglycemia. The end result: ambrosia. The apples contained enough sun-infused sweetness such that replacing the sugar in the filling with Splenda in half the required amount was perfect. We used a frozen pie crust, which worked out nicely (especially since we didn't have a lot of time and also because it had only a gram of sugar per serving in it).
We used about six apples in our pie and divided up the remaining ones so D could take some back to Seattle -- it's only fair, since he worked quite hard to get some of them! Many of the trees we wanted to pick from had been well visited, and the only fruit left was at the very top (with no ladders in sight). D boosted me up onto his shoulders to scrabble around in the higher branches, and at one point, he climbed up himself while I spotted him from below. "Am I near them yet?" he kept asking. It's hard to see where you're going when you have a face full of twigs. Both of us have the scratches to prove it ...
In the end, it was well worth the effort. The apples with the best sun exposure were at the top, and the bugs seemed to have left them alone (compared to the numerous pockmarked ones lower down).
We cleaned each of the fruits in cold water once we were home and were surprised to find out how different their skins were. Apparently, Iowa has really dirty air -- every apple was uniformly speckled with brown spots that were probably the product of dust sticking to the skins after a recent rainstorm or a humid night. Here's our harvest after a good scrub:
And here is our pie:
Mmmmmm. So good, it doesn't even need ice cream.
1 day ago