Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Apple Picking and Tart Baking

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.


Prairie Cat said...

We'll hopefully be going apple picking soon, too, but not until the temperatures become more fall-like.

That tart/pie looks delicious! A tart pan is actually on my birthday/christmas wish-list, because I have seen so many good recipes that I just have to try them out! Sure, you can just wing it... but the pan makes them look so pretty. :)

Heather@myeverydaygraces said...

Your tart looks absolutely delicious!! Our apples are just getting ripe.

When we had a smaller yard we planted a couple of columnar apple trees... hardly a bumper crop but enough to get the pleasure of picking an apple and eating it when the mood struck:)

Heather@myeverydaygraces said...

ps. give me the rustic look of a galette anytime:)

upinak said...

Oh Thyme! You are one lucky woman. Did you know that in your area.. the hard tart little apples are used more for baking pies for the WHOLE United States?

And did you also know that you can also plant wonderful pear trees and they smell wonderful when blooming! Pears grow AWESOME there and if you are lucky and you do the bottle trick and make pear liquor as well!

~Holly~ said...

Beautiful apple tart!! That reminds me, I need to find some apples for sauce!! =0)

Anonymous said...

The orchard is lovely, and you just have to accept the fact that a lot of the apples fall on the ground and rot. The same is with my apple trees.
This year I have frozen some apples to make apple pies all winter long.
Your apple pie/tart looks delicious!

balcony/paradise said...

Very nice orchard! With all those apples on the ground, I'm sure critters will like it as well ;) The tart looks delicious! I've never tried baking apple tart before but when seeing yours, I can't wait to try it!

Erin said...

I'm so jealous! I got about 7 horrible looking apples off of my container tree, and there are no orchards here, too hot for apple growing. I took for granted when I grew up the yearly trek to the orchard for apples and cider! Your tart looks amazing!

thyme2garden said...

Prairie Cat - you're right, somehow it doesn't seem right to go apple picking in hot weather. Luckily, our weather was kinda gray and wet Saturday early afternoon when we wen, as you can see from the pictures.

If you're going to indulge and bake something like a tart, you might as well do it properly in a tart pan, right? :)

* * * * *
Heather - thank you! We may have to look into getting some smaller fruit trees for our backyard. I also actually considered baking it in a galette form, maybe I'll try that first next time before purchasing a tart pan.

* * * * *
upinak - I had no idea they used apples from here to supply pies for the whole country! And pear tree blossoms sound great!

* * * * *
Holly - than you! I also made some spiced apple sauce, too. That will be featured tomorrow!

* * * * *
vrtlarica - I knew it logically, but it was still somehow hard to accept emotionally that so many apples went to waste. But maybe I should stop looking at it as waste and just think of it as the trees giving back to mother nature. Apple pies all winter long with fresh (frozen) apples sounds great!

* * * * *
balcony/paradise - Oh, I'm sure the critters would just have a field day (or month) out there. Try an apple tart, you'll probably like it! I found it to be a much simpler and cleaner version of apple pie, with a lot less sugar and butter.

* * * * *
Erin - Sorry about your container tree apples! I'm the opposite of you, I did not grow up going apple picking, so having access to something like this close to home is a real treat!

Ott, A. said...

Hey, it looks like you made it out to Tuttles. I plan on going out there again this weekend and get some apples to make and can apple butter and apple pie filling. So glad it's getting closer to fall!

Engineeredgarden said...

I'd love to grow apples like that, too - but the bugs just ruin everything at my house. The tart looks great, and I bet it was really yummy!

RandomGardener said...

Wow, your apple tart looks delicious! We have 3 apple trees, but this year just Sweet16 has about 8-10 apples(which are looking good!)Can't wait to pick them! Apple orchards are so wonderful to stroll through and the spend a nice autumn day!

Frugal Gardener said...

I LOVE apple picking. It is a fall tradition of ours. I hope you will consider posting the recipe for the tart that you made as I am suddenly quite hungry.

zentmrs said...

I can't wait for apple season! It was always my favorite time of year when I lived in the midwest. We've got a month or two before we get apples here though.

upinak said...

Howdy again Thyme :)

Indiana and Washington send their apples to the distribution centers that can apples for pies later.

I am full of useless inforamtion! But at least I am funny. :)

Speaking of funny.. want to read on my corn story with a sequoia seedling thrown in!

Lexa said...

I don't know what was prettier- the apple tres in the orchard or your tart! Great job :)

Nartaya said...

My neighbor has an apple and a pear tree in their backyard (no grass or any other fruits of veg...weird) and I am frankly lusting after them. The tart looks yummy!

Thomas said...

Very yummy! Another reason why I love this time of year. I have tons of apple sauce to make. I might as well bake a pie or two as well!

thyme2garden said...

Ott A - Yes, it was Tuttles! What a great place. You're lucky to live so close to them.

* * * * *
EG - even though I wish we had some fruit trees, I have to admit, I'm secretly glad that we don't have to deal with additional pests that target fruit trees.

* * * * *
RandomGardener - hope your apples ripen for you soon. Apple picking really makes "autumn" a reality.

* * * * *
Frugal Gardener - I hope to make fall apple picking a tradition myself! I adapted a recipe I found from smittenkitchen. I'll post it soon.

* * * * *
zentmrs - that's right, you still have the rest of your summer to enjoy on the west coast!

* * * * *
upinak - how nice to "see" you again twice in a day! :) I will read your story as soon as I get done with these comments.

* * * * *
Lexa - Aw, thank you so much!

* * * * *
Nartaya - If their apple and pear trees are prolific, I hope they will share some of their fruits with you!

* * * * *
Thomas - I've seen pictures of your pies, they look great!

Kelly @ The Startup Wife said...

Yumm!! I should do this more, since I can't grow them myself. ;) Also, I had a similar experience when I was in Kauai--we were hiking and there were mangoes rotting ALL. OVER. the ground. And mangoes are so expensive here, I couldn't stop thinking about how much wasted food that was!

Jami said...

Lovely gallette- I'm wanting to make a peach one, the apples are just ripening here...

Thanks for being #! on the Garden Party links. ;-)

meemsnyc said...

Oooh, that apple tart looks awesome! We went apple picking this weekend too!

Alea said...

I have 2 apple trees, but we had a lte freeze and lost almost all of the baby apples. We are planning on going apple picking to compensate for our loss. Your photos of your trip and pie are beautiful - they put me in the mood for fall!

thyme2garden said...

Kelly - ugh, I can barely deal with rotting apples, and I can't even think about mangoes rotting on the ground.

* * * * *
Jami - ohhh, a peach one sounds great!

* * * * *
meemsnyc - I think apple picking is just a lovely weekend activity!

* * * * *
Alea - Aw, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your baby apples! I hope you get to pick lots of orchard apples. Thank you for the compliments!!

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