There’s really nothing better than the smell of a freshly baked apple pie wafting through your entire house. But have you ever considered breaking from the traditional pie and trying something new? As a key ingredient during the month of September, apples are at the peak of their harvesting season, and are ready to use in an endless amount of recipes.
We’re all familiar with the Honeycrisp, the Red Delicious, and the Gala apples – but there are so many other kinds of apples that are grown locally and available to you starting at the end of summer and continuing throughout the fall months. With the help of our local chefs and farmers, we have gathered a couple of recipes to share with you that feature different kinds of apples.
Lynne Hess, owner of Back Home On the Farm alongside her husband Gary, shared with us her recipe for an Apple Chip Cake – perfect for the beginning of fall! This is a special treat that requires you make the sauce and the cake, so give yourself plenty of time! She even told us, “This one may take a longer baking time than most cakes, but I promise… it’s sooo worth it!”
Cake Ingredients: Sauce Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups oil ½ cup buttermilk
2 cups sugar 1 cup sugar
3 eggs 1 stick margarine
3 cups all purpose flour ½ tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. soda
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups diced apples
1 cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup walnut extract (optional)
1 cup raisins
To make the sauce, mix the ingredients in a bowl and then boil the sauce rapidly for two minutes in a large saucepan.
To make the cake, first make sure to preheat the oven for 325 degrees. Blend the oil, sugar, and eggs (slightly beaten). Sift together the flour, salt, cloves, and soda, and add this to the wet mixture. Then, fold in the apples, nuts, raisins, and vanilla. Bake this in a tube pan with a removable bottom on a cookie sheet. It will bake for 1
hour and 45 minutes at the preheated temperature. When it’s removed from the oven, pour the sauce you made over the cake. Let it stand until cool before removing from pan.
*(Extra note: Reserve some of the flour mixture to coat apples and they will blend into the batter more easily)
Keep in mind that apples have so many different uses! Scott Harris, from Catoctin Creek Distillery, shared a recipe originally from Chad Robinson for the perfect fall cocktail that you can serve at your next bonfire! Robinson calls it the “Autumnal Equinox.”
Ingredients for the cocktail include:
1 ½ ox Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
1 oz Cocci Americano Vermouth
½ oz Fall Shrub**
Sage and sliced apple garnish
Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker of ice, and strain into a rocks glass with one or two large cubes. Garnish with an apple slice and a leaf of sage.
** Fall shrub: Fuji apples, Bartlett pears, canned pumpkin, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, Turbinado sugar, and apple cider vinegar.
Lucky for you, apple season extends throughout September and October! Get out to your local farmers markets, farms, and stores to grab the freshest, most delicious apples you can. Feel free to try out these recipes, to look up something different, or to come up with something on your own! Some kinds of apples are particularly great for baking, cooking, or mixing into a drink, so make sure to do some research before buying!
A huge thank you to Back Home on the Farm and Catoctin Creek Distillery for sharing their recipes with us! Read more about them and find more recipes on Taste of Blue Ridge – a foodie escape for the Shenandoah Valley.