It doesn’t get much better than packing up the car with friends and family and heading to the orchard for an afternoon of sunny fall apple picking. Leaving with bushels and bushels to be used in every which way, both sweet and savory, makes us so thankful to the farmers who tend to these sweet gems each year.
Make an afternoon of it by packing up a picnic with some handmade Red Apron sandwiches, cold salads and baked goodies.
We like to consult this list of apple-picking tips before we go, so we only bring home the best tasting apples! If you’re looking for the perfect apple orchard, these are a few of our favourites around Ottawa!
Ottawa Apple Orchards
Log Cabin Orchard
Where: 6121 Cabin Rd., Osgoode K0A 2W0
Directions: Exit Hwy. 416 at Roger Stevens Drive and follow Regional Road 6. 20 minutes from west-end Ottawa
Mountain Apple Orchard
Where: 10175 Clark Rd., Mountain K0E 1S0
Directions: Exit Hwy. 416 at Hwy. 43. Turn right on Hwy. 22 and left on Bennet Road (which changes into Clark Road). Less than an hour from Ottawa.
Where: 1480 County Road 32, Crysler, ON K0A 1R0
Directions: From the 417 East, take exit 88 and go through Embrun. Turn right on Ste Marie Street and drive nine kilometres. 1 hour from west-end Ottawa.
Orleans Fruit Farm
Where: 1399 St. Joseph Blvd. K1C 7K9
Directions: Head east on the Queensway towards Orléans. Exit at Montreal Road. Turn right on St Joseph Blvd. Twenty minutes from the west-end.
We want you to be armed and ready when you get home with all those beautiful apples, so today we’re sharing a couple of our most popular recipes where apples are the hero. A hearty, sweet and savory soup that makes an excellent dinner with some fresh bread on the side, and the perfect fall-weather dessert or afternoon pick-me-up, Apple Coffee Cake. Enjoy and happy apple-picking!
Apple Butternut Squash Soup
This recipe works well with most winter squashes including pumpkin, acorn, turban, buttercup, pepper, etc.
Olive oil or canola oil
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 large Butternut Squash
4 large apples
4 cups or vegetable chicken stock
1 Bay leaf
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons Butter
1/3 teaspoon curry powder, or to your taste
1 pinch nutmeg
1 cup whipping cream
Salt and pepper
Cut butternut in half and remove seeds. Place cut side down on a greased baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until tender. Let cool and remove meat and mash with a fork.
Peel and slice apples and toss with melted butter and sugar. Place in 375 degree preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until they start to caramelize. Let cool.
Sauté onion and garlic in oil until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add butternut puree, apples, stock, bay leaf, curry, nutmeg and mix well. Bring to boil, then lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
Add cream and remove from heat and cool. Blend in batches in a blender until smooth. Add more water/stock if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Re-heat until warmed through and serve.
Apple Coffee Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease & flour a 9×12 cake pan.
For the Cake
1 cup of butter, softened
2 cups of sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
In a mixer cream together the butter & sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, sour cream & vanilla and mix until combined. In a separate bowl sift the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until combined.
4 cups of sliced apples
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Toss ingredients together.
1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup butter, cold
Mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Pour the batter into your cake pan. Top this with apple slices and sprinkle streusel evenly over the apples. Bake for 1 hour, test for doneness and continue cooking if necessary.