Fall is a great time for visiting apple orchards, or if you are lucky like I am, you might even have an apple tree in your own backyard. The apple tree in my yard is a small one, the larger one we had for years has bit the dust and the two transparent apple trees that were on the property when we first moved here were ancient already and sadly were lost in a big storm. But the Jonathan Apples we have in back while not truly bite in worthy, they are definitely pie worthy!
I picked the fruit I could reach and trudged into the house to create a tart to take to the fields since here in central Illinois soybean harvest is full steam ahead. Besides the tart which has been demolished, I created a deep dish pie and that is the end of my apples. I will have to use a ladder to reach the high ones or wait for them to drop to the ground, or head for one of my favorite orchards, the Apple Barn in Chatham, Illinois where they also have apple donuts, which are at the top of my husband’s list.
Apples are an amazing fruit and quite surprisingly in the rose family. Apples originated in Central Asia and were brought to the New World by European colonists. The love of apples has spread far and wide. In 2013 80 million apples were grown, the most in China followed by the US and then Turkey. There are approximately 10,000 different kinds of varieties of apples grown in the world with more than 7,000 of these varieties grown in the United States.
What’s Cooking In America shares, “When the English colonists arrived in North America they found only crab apples. Crab apple trees are the only native apples to the United States. European settlers arrived and brought with them their English customs and favorite fruits. In colonial time, apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth.”
I think the colonists had it right because although mine is not the prettiest pie this side of the Mighty Mississippi, it does melt in the mouth! I used my grandma’s pie recipe which the Pearcy family has passed down.
Grandma’s Pie crust!
2 cups of flour
1 cup of shortening
½ cup of water
And a tsp of salt.
The apples were just sliced and flavored with sugar and cinnamon. The rest was all just the natural goodness of the wonderful fruit.
Apples are a symbol of fall, go find your tree and get cooking!