Settling into your new home in Chester County can be fun and exciting. Especially this time of year! Once you have unpacked all your boxes and put away the dishes and clothes it's time to explore the amazing things this county has to offer.
As the days get shorter, the leaves begin to fall, the air gets crisper and the thought of winter is just around the corner, be sure to take some time to get out there and have some family fun.
On a recent Sunday, we loaded ourselves into the car and made the short trip to Barnard's Orchards in Kennett Square with our kids and in laws to pick apples and see what other wonderful seasonal offerings they had. Not only did we have an amazing time getting lost in the rows full of all sorts of apple trees for the picking, while harvesting more than we could carry, but we made sure to spend time admiring the sea of pumpkins and gourds for sale before heading into orchard’s market.
As Joelle picked up fresh grown green beans and butternut squash, I was captivated by all of their different offerings such as the local honey, the homemade apple cider, specialty hot sauces, spices and homemade jellies and jams. Nearly every autumnal treat your heart could desire can be found in this quaint market.
So, pack up the kids, grandparents, or a friend or two and treat yourself to a wonderful fall adventure! Before you head into the orchard though, be sure to ask them at the checkout which apples are best to make a pie - you'll be surprised with the options!
Our Daughter in Law Shannon picked apples to bring home and made an amazing apple strudel from a recipe straight out of Germany. Whether it be a strudel, crumble, pie, or simply sliced with some peanut butter, the apples won’t disappoint. If you are like us and pick more than you know what to do with, check out this apple pie recipe below from New York Times Cooking and give it a try!
Apple Pie – New York Times Cooking
Recipe from Keirin Baldwin, Adapted by Sam Sifton
Yield: 8 servings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2½ pounds apples, peeled and cored, then cut into wedges (5 large honeycrisps will do it)
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 recipe all-purpose pie dough* See below
1 egg, lightly beaten
Melt butter in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat and add apples to the pan. Stir to coat fruit with butter and cook, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, whisk together the spices, salt and ¾ cup sugar, and sprinkle this over the pan, stirring to combine. Lower heat and cook until apples have started to soften, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle the flour and cornstarch over the apples and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add cider vinegar, stir and scrape fruit mixture into a bowl and allow to cool completely. (The fruit mixture will cool faster if spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.)
Place a large baking sheet on the middle rack of oven and preheat to 425. Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator and, using a pin, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 12 inches in diameter. Fit this crust into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming it to leave a .5-inch overhang. Place this plate, with the dough, in the freezer.
Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 10 or 11 inches in diameter.
Remove pie crust from freezer and put the cooled pie filling into it. Cover with remaining dough. Press the edges together, trim the excess, then crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Using a sharp knife, cut three or four steam vents in the top of the crust. Lightly brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Place pie in oven and bake on hot baking sheet for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375. Continue to cook until the interior is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes more. Remove and allow to cool on a windowsill or kitchen rack, about two hours.
All-Purpose Pie Dough – New York Times Cooking
Recipe by Sam Sifton
2½ cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
Yolk of 1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
¼ cup water, from ¾ cup ice water.
Using your fingertips or the pulse function of a food processor, blend together the flour, fats and salt until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. There should be pebbles of butter throughout the mixture.
Add egg yolk and vinegar to ¼ cup ice water and stir to combine. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of this mixture over the dough and gently stir or pulse to combine. Gather a golfball-size bit of dough and squeeze to combine. If it does not hold together, add a little more of the liquid and stir or pulse, then check again. Repeat as necessary.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather together into a rough ball. You want to be careful not to overwork the flour, but not too careful; the dough should hold together. Divide the ball in half with a knife or a pastry scraper, then divide each portion in half again, and again, to create eight portions. Using the heel of your hand, flatten each portion of dough once or twice to expand the pebbles of butter, then gather the dough together again in one ball. Divide this ball in half.
Flatten each ball into a 5- or 6-inch disc and dust lightly with flour. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.