It’s apple season! And we are so fortunate in Bucks to have some fantastic orchards here. Here’s a rundown of what’s growing, picking and crunching, and where, followed by my mother’s superb Jewish Apple Cake recipe.
Solebury Orchards is picking Gala, Elstar, and the first Honey Crisp apples now. The Honey Crisp crop is looking very good this season and they expect to have a good supply into November. Aurora and Seckle pears will also be available. Aurora Pears are a medium to large, greenish, brown pear that turns a golden color when ripe. It is very sweet with excellent flavor and very juicy. They may have some peaches still left this weekend. Look too for their first apple cider of the season, as well as cider ice and their delicious cider donuts. On Saturday and Sunday their tractor and wagon will take you through the orchard and out to the trees they are picking that day. Apple picking will last through the first weekend in November. Check the apple harvest chart for the approximate ripening time of the different varieties. Check their website for updates.
Shady Brook Farm (Yardley) and the Market at Del Val (Doylestown) are both having Pick Your Own Apples this weekend, September 21 and 22. Lots of apple-inspired foods, wagon rides, attractions for the kids and family fun.
Manoff Market Gardens in Solebury has Gala, Sanza, Ginger Gold, Honey Crisp, Daybreak Fuji and Crimson Crisp apples, as well as the last of White Hale, JH Hale peaches and yellow nectarines. Their Fall Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 5th.
Snipes Farm and Education Center in Morrisville also offers pick-your-own and wagon rides out to the orchards. There’s nothing like a tree-ripened apple, they say.
This weekend, and every weekend through October, is Fall Family Fun Weekend at Terhune Orchards in Princeton, NJ with pony rides, wagon rides, a Corn Stalk Maze and farm animals to meet. There’s lots of food available – soup, chili, hot dogs, pies, apple cider donuts, apple cider, and more, as well as live music. In September and October, Terhune offers pick-your-own at their farm on Van Kirk Road–just around the block from their home farm. It’s open everyday for pick-your-own. See what apple varieties they grow and when they are available here.
For more pick-your-own farms, see the Penn State Cooperative Extension’s Fresh from Bucks County Farms 2013 listing.
Jewish Apple Cake
- First peel and cut 5-6 apples in square chunks about the size of a thimble. Sprinkle in 2 tsp. of cinnamon and 5 TBSP of sugar, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, measure and mix:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
½ cup orange juice
3 tsp. baking powder
2 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
- Pour half the batter into a greased tube pan. Spread half the apples over the batter. Cover with remaining batter and apples.
- Bake at 350° F for about 1 ½ hours, testing until done.