It’s Apple Season!
Apples were first cultivated in Canada by early French settlers in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley around 1633. While Nova Scotia can claim much of Canada’s early apple-related history, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia have since become major players in the industry. One of the biggest benefits of a thriving apple industry is that Craft Cider making is on the rise. New players are entering the market each year, including local makers like Farm Gate Cider near Arnprior, selling at Ottawa Farmer’s Markets.
Gather up your friends and family and head out to pick apples at one of this region’s many “pick your own” orchards. It’s a fun way to spend a beautiful fall day and there are only a few weeks left of picking! Then head back to the kitchen and cook up batches of your favourite apple recipes to freeze for later or enjoy now.
You can find comprehensive list of local orchards at here but our favourite is our good friends at Hall’s Apple Orchard. They have been delivering apples to us for years for our apple pies, apple whiskey jam, apple sour cherry jam, Thanksgiving stuffing, and other delicious apple treats. Our apple whiskey jam was made for your cheese board paired with some sharp cheddar, and spiced nuts. We also serve it on our Monday sandwich with cheddar and bacon!
Apple pies freeze well and can be baked from frozen in under an hour. We sell them frozen and unbaked in our retail store. Apple Sauce is easy to make and a great accompaniment to Pork, Chicken or Beef. One great after school snack that kids love is apple slices dipped in almond or peanut butter – if you haven’t tried it – I think you will be surprised.
For a quick and healthy dessert, try stuffing and baking apples. Hollow out the core of an apple and stuff it with whatever you like: chopped walnuts, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, granola, even chocolate chips. Bake them with a bit of butter and apple juice in a casserole dish for 20 minutes until the apples are tender and the flavours have melded. Serve with whipped cream or some of Pascale’s Vanilla Ice Cream!
Our favourite variety of apple is Honey Crisp, and they deserve their name. They are sweet, large and crisp. This week’s recipe is a simple strudel made using store bought puff pastry sheets. The same filling works in a pie shell too!
Easy Apple Strudel
Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
1 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 large Firm Apples (Granny Smith, Courtland, or any firm baking Apple) peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)
Thaw the pastry sheet at room temperature for 40 minutes or until it’s easy to handle. Heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Stir the egg and water in a small bowl.
Mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the apples to the flour mixture and toss to coat.
Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry sheet into a 16×12-inch rectangle. With the long side facing you, spoon the apple mixture onto the middle of the pastry sheet, spreading evenly from one end to the other. Fold the side closest to you up towards the middle and brush with egg mixture. Fold the side furthest from you towards the middle and press to seal. Place seam-side down on the baking sheet. Brush with the egg mixture. Cut several 2-inch-long slits 2 inches apart on the top.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Slice and serve warm.