If I had my druthers, I would grow apples this beautiful and perfect right in my backyard.
However, life does not always let me have what I want, exactly the way I want it. So, since Keith and I don't have a single fruit tree in our garden, we went apple picking last weekend at a local orchard. Other people's apples are better than no apples, right?
This orchard is located a little over 20 miles from where we live, and I have to say, I had no idea we lived so close to "country." It's been almost two years since I've been in Indiana, and granted, I've worked out of state for more than half that time, but it still amazes me every time I see what seems like miles and miles of fields planted with corn or soy so close to "where people live." It really is a big change from living in ultra-urban compact cities like San Francisco or the sprawling concrete jungle of suburban Los Angeles.
The orchard was beautiful. Once I got over my initial shock and slight panic at how many apples were lying discarded due to pest damage, rotting or just accidental falling off the tree branch while you're trying to pick another one, I had a lot of fun picking apples. I heard several parents tell their kids "don't pick up any apples off the ground!"
We ended up picking about 16 lbs of apples of three different varieties: Jonathan, Cortland and Gala.
With 2 lbs of Jonathan apples, I baked a simple apple tart with buttery pie dough made from scratch. Well, the recipe was for apple tart, but I didn't have a tart pan, so I baked it in a regular pie pan. It wasn't perfect, but it still made a delicious apple tart/pie. Next time, I may have to break down and get a tart pan so I can bake a proper apple tart.
This post is linked to Tuesday Garden Party.