September 22, 2011

The Orchards

Autumn in New England means warm, sunny days followed by
cool brisk nights.

 The crackle and scent of a wood-burning fire, long walks shuffling through fallen leaves along country roads or through traditional villages, shopping for unique hand-made gifts and annual craft and agricultural fairs. Fall can also mean a round of golf and snowcover for the first turns of the season.

A Maine House Mosaic

Motoring over to the apple orchard and spending a late morning picking apples was one of the best experiences we have ever had. I adore these family owned farms set within the valleys, surrounded by mountains of autumn hues. Not only was this a picture perfect setting, the aroma of fresh apples mingled with the scent of hot apple cider, apple cinnamon donuts being made and the crisp, fresh autumn air....I tell you....if you have never been apple picking in New England, please put this on your bucket list!

Autumn Orchard Apple Sauce
8 assorted apples
 (mix of any varieties, Estelle's uses Gala and McIntosh) 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup sweet apple cider
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons apple or pear brandy (optional)

Peel and core apples; cut into big chunks. In a medium-size saucepan, toss apples with lemon juice. Add cider, sugar, and cinnamon; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes. Discard cinnamon. Mash to the consistency you prefer, be it smooth or chunky! This is wonderful when paired with grilled pork chops!

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
 1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 egg
 3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
 3/4 cup peeled, cored, and finely chopped apple
brown sugar for sprinkling tops

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon into a large bowl. Combine the brown sugar and oats, and add to the flour mixture. Beat the egg, milk, and oil together and add to the flour-oats mixture, blending well. Fold in the apple.

Spoon into paper-lined muffin tins or tins that have been greased or coated with no-stick cooking spray and sprinkle tops with additional sugar. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

“But I remember more dearly autumn afternoons in bottoms that lay intensely silent under old great trees”
- C. S. Lewis

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