Traditional apple orchards offer excellent photo opportunities, like this beautiful apple-laden allee. Take an annual family photo during your trip to a u-pick farm. Pictures among the apples will quickly become family favorites.
Certain things may be touted to be as American as apple pie, but the fact is, apple pies have their roots in 14th Century England. It was the Pilgrims who combined pie making skills with apple seeds ferried over the Atlantic Ocean to create the quintessential American dessert. The earliest versions of this dish often featured only a bottom crust, because times were hard and ingredients scarce. That’s how the saying “upper crust” came to signify households with plenty of money—they were the only ones who could afford pies with an upper crust.
Of course, apple pie is the go-to dessert everyone knows and loves. Whether you’re serving deep dish, double crust, lattice-top or Dutch crumb, it’s tough to beat this American classic. This year, up your pie game by trying some new twists on a family favorite. Marry apple with other tasty ingredients to deliver a whole new crowd pleaser. Good apple combinations include cranberry, raisin, raspberry, dates and pear. Toss nuts into the filling, or switch up spices, swapping cinnamon for Chinese five-spice. Trade pastry for a ginger snap or cinnamon graham cracker crust. You can freeze unbaked apple pies for a quick dessert that’s equally cozy and impressive. Or save your freezer space by making home-canned apple pie filling. It comes together in a snap with a boiling water bath and turns out wonderful fresh-tasting pies for the holidays and beyond.
The saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” traces to Old English, hinting at the fruit’s rich nutritional benefits. The original saying goes like this: “Ate an apfel avore gwain to bed, make the doctor beg his breads.” Apples—including juice and cider—supply boron, an important mineral for health. Apple cider is one of the earliest prescribed antidepressants.
Give classic cabbage slaw a sweet twist by swapping out some of the cabbage for thinly sliced apples. A mix of red and green apples cut into matchstick-size pieces creates a colorful dish. Add green and red cabbage, roasted pistachio nuts and shredded carrots to complete the pretty side salad. Use a traditional coleslaw dressing, or whisk together an apple cider vinaigrette. Remember to toss apple pieces with diluted lemon juice to prevent oxidation or browning.
Visit an orchard, and you might expect to reach up and pick a few choice apples, or scramble up a ladder to reach the higher fruits. Time honored traditional apple orchard plantings have showcased individual trees with rounded heads lined up in rows. This is the apple tree schoolchildren see in storybooks and the one most folks expect when heading out to the orchard.
When Ohio was opening as a frontier in 1792, settlers could earn up to 100 acres if they homesteaded in the wilderness. A homestead required 50 apple and 20 peach trees. John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, was an enterprising businessman who traveled ahead of settlers planting and tending apple orchards on land he had purchased. He later sold the orchards to homesteaders. The last apple planted by John is rumored to be a ‘Rambo,’ which continues to grow in Nova, Ohio.