Culinary Notes: Apple Season Delights Bakers


The favorite apple of New Jersey bakers is available at farmer’s markets.

Like most local apples, the crisp and tangy Stayman Winesap, which adds so much flavor to baked goods and cider, is having a good year in the Garden State.

Over 30 varieties of apples are grown in New Jersey, and every baker has their favorite. Cameos, MacIntosh, Jonathan, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Empire, and Golden Delicious are all great for pies, cakes, muffins, and breads.

I like to use more than one kind of apple in a pie or crisp, which gives it hints of sweet and tangy flavor and more texture.

While the Honey Crisp apple is a very popular favorite to eat, it doesn’t work as well in baking. No matter; there are plenty more to choose from.

The apple continues to be celebrated at Terhune Orchards in Lawrence, which boasts over two dozen varieties of the country’s second favorite fruit (bananas are the best). Fall family weekends continue through October 31 with apple picking, hay walks, corn and hay bale mazes, pumpkin picking, and plenty of apple treats. To ensure social distancing, advance ticket purchases are required and can be made through the terhuneorchards.com website.

Not only do apples taste great, they’re rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that blocks free radical damage, as well as B-complex vitamins that keep our red blood cells and nervous system healthy.

They also taste better this time of year, especially if you eat them outside in the cool fall air.

Corn pickers needed

Harvest season has arrived for corn at the Howell Living History Farm in Hopewell Township. Volunteers are needed to help pick and process the estimated 120,000 ears of corn in the farm’s fields.

From 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, October 23, volunteers can participate in the harvest, 1900s style. The corn will be picked and shelled while other volunteers will help shell and grind the corn for the animals of Howell Farm. Still others will head to the farmhouse kitchen to help make cornbread from the freshly ground cornmeal.

All of this year’s Saturday programs at Howell Farm have been changed to encourage social distancing and reflect current state guidelines for public events. Visitors are required to wear masks at all times and wear them when social distancing is not possible. For more information, see the howellfarm.org website.

Winter farmers markets

As the fall farmer’s market season draws to a close, the Princeton Farmers’ Market looks forward to its winter season.

The market is now accepting applications from vendors for the Winter Markets, which are held Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 46-80 Franklin Ave., Princeton. The current market continues until November 18. For more information, see princetonfarmersmarket.com.

Meanwhile, during the winter months, the West Windsor Farmers Market will remain in its current location at the Vaughn Parking Lot at 877 Alexander Road with a small relocation to the Upper Lot.

West Windsor markets will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on December 4 and 18, January 8 and 22, February 5 and 9, March 5 and 19, April 2 and 16. For more information, see wwcfm.org.

On the stairs

Fall is advancing with a few summer crops still available and plenty of fall options. You will find apples, arugula, beets, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, chives, cranberries, eggplants, fennel, garlic, ginger, kale, lettuce, microgreens, mushrooms, onions, sweet and hot peppers, white and sweet potatoes. , radish, green onions, shallots, squash including acorn and butternut, Swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon and zucchini. Availability depends on the market.

Application for wine lovers

The Garden State Wine Growers Association has a new app that details New Jersey vineyard experiences in all six regions of the state, including special tastings and musical events.

To find the new app, go to the iTunes App Store or Google Play and search for “New Jersey Wines”.

To use the app, visit one of the wineries listed, register, and you could win a prize if you visit all of the wineries in each region. The app also provides information on food and accommodation in the area.

Apple fritters

Easier than a pie and as comforting as a donut, these donuts from smalltownwoman.com are one way to enjoy apple season.

  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of yeast
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce
  • 2 large Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples, peeled, seeded and diced
  • frying oil

Icing:

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla

1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add 1/3 cup of milk, eggs and applesauce. Stir just to combine. Stir in the apples.

2. Heat 1 ½ inch of oil in a heavy skillet, Dutch oven or deep fryer to 375 degrees. Place about ¼ cup of batter per donut in hot oil; spread it out as you fall. Cook each side until golden brown; about 2 minutes per side. Remove on paper towels to drain.

3. Whisk together ¼ cup of milk, powdered sugar and vanilla. Dip each donut in the frosting, turning them over to make sure both sides are well coated. Place on wire racks to air dry and drain.

Apple cake

An apple cake is more rustic than an apple pie, but also easier to make.Delish.com

The difference between a pie and a galette is that the rustic galette is easier to assemble. This recipe is from delish.com

  • 1 basic pie crust
  • 3 apples, cored and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
  • 1 tablespoon of demerara sugar

1. Make the basic pie crust and leave to cool for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, prepare your fruit filling: Combine the sliced ​​apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Fold gently to coat the apples.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch-thick circle about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

4. Arrange the apple slices on top of the pastry, leaving a 1 ½ inch border around the edge. Fold the edge closest to you toward the center. Slightly rotate the plane of the leaf and repeat until all edges are folded towards the fruit.

5. Brush the egg wash over the crust and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake in oven until crust is golden and fruit is tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.

About Marco C. Nichols

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