Sunday, October 12

Happy Apple Season! Recipes & Photos from our Apple Harvest

This years apple harvest has been our best yet! With a dozen or so apple trees (green, red & pink) we've got a great mix of varieties for both eating fresh & cooking/preserving. In a few short minutes kilos of apples are picked, there are baskets at the doors filled with apples, a crate in the kitchen and each guest room has a bowl of fresh picked apples to welcome them! The fallen fruit is left for our hens to peck at, they don't last long as the boar and porcupines hoover up the leftovers late each night.

Thanks to the Indian summer we are having the trees that usually don't mature past tart green apples have all become heavy with ruby colored fruit.

It's no surprise I love apples, a girl homegrown in Washington State they make me nostalgic. My favorite holiday memories as a child include rainy days with hot apple cider, dinners with fried pork chops and baked apples,  a fancy fizzling glass of Martinelli's sparkling cider and of course apple pie for breakfast lunch and dinner!  I'd kill for a homemade apple fritter.

  I now live in a country that does not have the same affinity to this beloved fruit. Sure wild apple trees line our country road and locals arrive to fill their Fiat Pandas, but mainly to eat as hand fruit.  Apple juice is almost nonexistent. So, I have been scouring the web for an apple mill - the only problem is the ones I like are HUGE and too big to ship...I'd love to make our own cider and happily make myself sick from too much unpasteurized apple juice! But for now we'll bake cakes, make jam and apple sauces, add paper thin slices to salads for a nice crunch...or just eat'em with a spoonful of peanut butter!

A photo I took while picking one afternoon & posted on instagram ended up being featured on Food & Wine and Coastal Living #thisisfall!

Our #Appleharvest this year makes me think we should revive #countrybaby #applesauce!Yes that's an 80s classic-Baby Boom reference, I've related to Diane Keaton's character on many occasions since leaving NYC for the deep Italian countryside...#homegrown

If you think there's just Granny Smith & Red Delicious you are missing out. Here are two great articles on how diverse apple varieties can be:
A Few Favorite Apple Recipes:
photo: the meaning of pie
A friend/guest/photographer/writer, Kelly Yandell has a gorgeous blog The Meaning of Pie, she delved deep into apples with an extensive post on "The quentessial apple pie" that is worth the read & recipe!  

Pear (Apple) & Pine Nut Salad with Honey Vinegarette
Rosy cheeked angelica pears, native to the Metauro Valley are found in the markets throughout autumn in our area of Le Marche. One of my favorite ways to use these sweet small pears is pairing them with our wild apples and tossing with homegrown lettuce, toasted pine nuts, ribbons of parmesan and a sweet honey lemon vinaigrette - creating an irresistible salad!

If you like to cook/bake with wine, olive oil & sambuca - this is the dessert for you! An autumn dessert served at our farmhouse is la rocciata - a rustic apple roll stuffed with pine nuts, walnuts, cinnamon & golden raisins.

And finally, our go-to, super simple, moist & delicious Grandma's Apple Cinnamon Cake - and yes, it's actually Jason's grandmother's recipe! Serve it for breakfast, dessert or alongside an afternoon tea. Not only is it a no-fail recipe, but it is guaranteed to make your kitchen smell warm & cozy like grandma's house...I guess that's what makes apples so great - the childhood memories that come with each slice.

~ Happy Apple Season! ~

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