Orchard season is in full swing! Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy fall apples, from plain, to pressed, to pie!
The latest U of M hybrid is in a league of its own. Honeycrisp is a parent, so it’s fabulously crunchy, but its Zestar genes give this juicy apple a more robust sweet-tart flavor. Find ’em at co-ops, upscale grocers, farmers’ markets (and be prepared to pay a premium). Also: visit sweetango.com to enter to win $5,000 from your description of what it’s like to bite into a SweeTango!
Breakfast: Sweetland Orchard Apple Cider Doughnut
Sweetland’s apple crop was sadly decimated by this season’s early frost, so they’ve been absent from the farmers’ markets—along with their fantastic cider doughnuts, made by the owners’ mothers. But Sweetland is hosting a benefit tomorrow that includes apple picking, a pig roast, music by Romantica’s Ben Kyle, and the debut of their new hard ciders.
Cider: Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery
Speaking of cider, I haven’t had the Sweetland hard ciders yet, but I was just sampling from the taps at Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery in Stockholm, Wisc., and can vouch for the tastiness of both the sweeter Honeycrisp Hard and the drier Scrumpy. Maiden Rock also does a couple of wines (the Dolgo Crabapple is sweeter, the Stockholm white, drier) and an outstanding just-pressed non-alcoholic cider. If you’re trying to catch the last of the fall colors, Maiden Rock makes for a pretty killer foodie road-trip trifecta when combined with stops at the A to Z Produce & Bakery pizza farm and the Stockholm Pie Company.
Dessert: Patisserie 46 Caramel Apple Tart
Apple pie is great and all, but why not enjoy your pommes Français-style from among the jewels in Patisserie 46’s petit gateaux case? The Caramel Apple Tarts are designed to look like they’re each topped with a bright-red lacquered fruit temping enough to lure Snow White—though certainly less life-threatening.