September 26, 2010

The Apple of Our Eye!


Apple Picking in New England with The Maine House ....happy are our days!





Cortland Apple (Malus domestica)

As with all McIntosh varieties, Cortland is at its best when eaten soon after being picked. The sweet flavor fades quickly, as does the crispness.
An interesting characteristic of Cortland is that the flesh does not go brown very rapidly after being cut.
The Cortland is a great all purpose apple which was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva in 1898, and is a cross between Ben Davis and McIntosh apples.

McIntosh Apple ( Malus domestica)
McIntosh Apples are available June through December.
Recognized by their classic round shape and sweet taste, McIntosh apples, sometimes called "Macs", offer a delicious white flesh, sometimes tinged with red, that is extra juicy. This popular aromatic apple is wrapped in an attractive deep-red skin brushed with a vivid green. Its texture isn't quite as crisp as other varieties.
In 1888, the Agricultural Experiment Station in Burlington, Vermont, planted its first McIntosh tree. By 1900, McIntosh apples were a popular and favorite apple variety. The final harvest of the original McIntosh tree occurred in 1908. Sadly in 1910 that one hundred year old original McIntosh tree finally fell, but since many McIntosh apple trees and orchards had been planted throughout eastern North America, that awesome apple's tasty legacy carries on and continues to please apple fans' palates. Excellent for eating fresh out of hand, this everyday apple makes a great tasting applesauce. Make great-tasting sauces, cobblers, tarts and scrumptious pie.

Your apple a day health benefits
An apple has no cholesterol and contains pectin, a beneficial fiber. This fiber may actually work to reduce the body's cholesterol level and is claimed to possibly help prevent heart attacks. Pectin also slows glucose metabolism in diabetics. Apples contain potassium, which may reduce the chances of a stroke and have a trace of boron believed to build bones and to increase mental vitality.
Apples offer a small amount of vitamin A and vitamin C and have only a trace of sodium. An average-size apple contains about 80 calories.

Estelle's Best Apple Crisp
4 medium apples, sliced (Cortland and McIntosh combined)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 cup stale pound cake crumbs (or angel food cake or soft bread crumbs)
4-1/2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup apple cider

Vanilla ice cream for serving

Using 1 Tbsp. of the butter, liberally coat a 1-1/2 – 2-qt. baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the apples and lemon juice and toss to combine. In a small bowl, combine the cake crumbs, 3 Tbsp. butter, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and salt and toss to thoroughly combine. Place half of the sliced apples in the buttered baking dish. Cover with half of the bread crumb mixture. Add remaining apple slices and drizzle the apple cider over the apples. Top with the remaining crumb mixture. Dot with the remaining butter. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes until the apples are bubbly and tender and the crumbs are nicely browned. Serve hot with cream, whipped topping, or ice cream.

Interesting Apple Facts
  • Folk hero Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) did indeed spread the cultivation of apples in the United States. He knew enough about apples, however, so that he did not distribute seeds, because apples do not grow true from seeds. Instead, he established nurseries in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
  • Three medium-sized apples weigh approximately one pound.
  • One pound of apples, cored and sliced, measures about 4 1/2 cups.
  • Purchase about 2 pounds of whole apples for a 9-inch pie.
  • One large apple, cored and processed through a food grinder or processor, makes about 1 cup of ground apple.
Libby Farm in Limerick, Maine

"Oh! happy are the apples when the south winds blow."

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