When did apple picking become such a competitive sport? We went out with a couple of the kids and our grand kids this past weekend and when we pulled up to the farm driveway and saw lots of official looking men with flags to direct traffic and that cars were already overflowing into a new parking field at 10am, we kind of knew we might be in for a serious adventure. We noted all the “security” people and it just didn’t seem congruent with a day at the farm.
We went to Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ. I like this farm because they have a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, participate in local farmer’s markets, grow some certified organic produce, use integrated pest management in other areas, work to grow responsibly and sustainably, and do a lot for the community. I’ve met them at farmer’s markets, but who knew they had a virtual farm circus back at home base! The place is HUGE and the pick-your-own crops include acres of fruits and vegetables, pumpkin patches AND fresh-cut flowers. In order to get around, there is a hay ride route with about a dozen stops that takes almost an hour to go through all the stops and back to the starting point.
We came home with a crate of apples and a crate of veggies including huge eggplants, fresh tomatoes, even found some jalapeno peppers out there, but they were having a spud fest and we couldn’t resist picking up a few fresh and dirty potatoes – yum! So, I immediately got creative and made up an apple crisp/crumble recipe, which I’ll share now. I’m going to can some fresh salsa with some of the other goodies (that’s another post – stay tuned).
The apples that were ready were Stayman. Never heard of them, but they seemed good enough for baking to me . . . So, I whipped out our tried and true 1940s retro iron apple corer-peeler contraption and marveled that it not only can peel an apple in one long continuous peel, but it slices AND cores it nearly perfectly every time.
Green Diva Meg’s Apple Crisp-Crumble Gig
about 6 fresh apples (freshly picked w/ love, kids and grandkids if applicable)
2 cups all-purpose flour (I always use my favorite gluten-free flour)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup finely chopped pecans
2 sticks butter (softened and even slightly melted)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt (more if using unsalted butter)
1/4 cup of lemon juice & tablespoon of sugar (for mixing up w/ fresh apple slices to keep them from browning)
Preheat oven to 350. Make sure to take the butter out and soften (I put it on the stove while I’m pre-heating and that does a nice job). Mix all the dry ingredients (including chopped pecans) and mash it all up nicely with the melty butter (sometimes I just get in there with my hands to get it to the right consistency.
Then get your apples peeled, cored and sliced, using the lemon sugar to keep them from browning too much in the process. Then line a 9 x 13 baking dish with half of the crumble goodies, get your apples in there and then put the rest of the crumble stuff on the top.
here’s what it looks like before it goes into the oven for 45 min:
and here’s what it looks like when it comes out (and the family digs in immediately!):
eat. blog. be merry!