Fall officially started yesterday, and coming off this amazing summer, I think we are more ready to welcome it. With the changing seasons, we look forward to our continued family traditions, apple picking has become one of our favorites. We look forward to pumpkin picking as well, but apple picking always seems to make that initial transition into the cooler months.
We typically plan our trip weeks in advance, but this year, apple picking happened on the fly. On Sunday, we were driving home from our weekend adventure, while Jason and I were trying to plan the month around both of our travel schedules for work. Realizing that he may miss apple picking with all the weeks he would be away, we thought it would to perfect to stop that afternoon, on our way back into town. I looked up apple orchards in the area, and realized that we were one exit away from Longmeadow Farm, in Hope, New Jersey. They didn’t offer hayrides, or some of the bells and whistles like other farms we frequent, but they had apples, lots and lots of apples. It was the earliest we’ve ever gone apple picking in a season, and I don’t think we’ve ever saw trees so plentiful.
Ryder manned an apple picker pole, while Siella and Gemma were in charge of the baskets. We loaded up on 4 or 5 different types of apples, and each time we came upon the different rows, the kids had to try each one. Along the way, we spoke about all the fun recipes we were going to use them for, once we were back home, and with over 15 pounds of apples picked, we have lots of baking in our future.
After we conquered the apple orchard, we walked over to the raspberry field. Even though it was late in the season, we still managed to collect two full crates of berries. On the way home, Jason and I laughed about how lucky we were to have stumbled upon such a great farm. After visiting with different apple orchards year to year, we finally found a spot that took our favorite slot.
Apple picking reminds me so much of my childhood, and how our family always made it a point to go each and every year. I loved baking with my mom, and still use her famous apple “cake” recipe after our annual apple picks.
On Monday, the girls and I baked an apple pie, and I wanted to share the recipe with you, as this pie was probably one of the best one’s I’ve ever baked. And, its probably no surprise, but it gluten free for Ryder.
Perfect Apple Pie
Pie crust (2) we used a frozen gluten free crust
6 cups thinly sliced apples (about 6)
3/4 cup sugar (we used 1/2)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour (we used buckwheat flour)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Heat over 425 degrees. Mix ingredients gently, and spoon into crust lined pie plate. Top with second plate. Wrap excess top crust under bottom crust edge, pressing edges together to seal. Cut slits on top. Bake 40-45 minutes or until apples become tender. Let cool before serving. Enjoy!