Yesterday was the perfect Fall day...big puffy clouds, sun shining, a nip in the air... but you could still get away without a jacket. Time to go apple picking...we are lucky enough to live close to several amazing apple orchards. It's easy to be spontaneous.... grab our baskets and head for one of my family's favorite Fall activities. This trip was a mother-daughter date and we had the entire orchard to ourselves. Now we'd like to invite you.
We picked Macintoshes, Cortlands and Empires from big, old trees that had seen many Autumns and were laden with ripe, delicious fruit. There is something altogether magical about plucking an apple from a tree. That certain twist of the wrist and distinct snap belong only to this sweet time of year. Long before children and marriage, my husband and I worked as "pickers" on an apple orchard in Vermont for an entire season. My husband had worked for several harvests before we'd met. He introduced me to my first East Coast Fall by convincing me to come pick with him. It was really hard work, intensely beautiful, and very romantic. Now seeing my children in an apple orchard is a little bit of bliss.
I can guarantee there will be more apple recipes. Here is the first:
Apple GingerbreadWe eat this as an afternoon snack and even for an easy breakfast on rushed mornings.
1/2 cup butter or vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup milk
1 1/2 to 2 cups grated apple
Cream butter, eggs, molasses, and syrup well. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately with the milk to the butter mixture. Stir in grated apple. Pour into a greased and floured 9" square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan and then turn onto a wire rack. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or Greek yogurt. My children are thrilled because they're having "cake" for breakfast. If you want a little extra sweetness or just to make it fancy, top it with a dusting of confectioners sugar (which is now available organically).
*Additional notes just added:
1. Thanks Meet Me At Mikes for your lovely link today regarding the blog and apple gingerbread! Welcome to anyone new popping by...hope you have fun.
2. My thoughtful 10 year old son and sometimes blog editor (who has been eating this gingerbread since he was a babe) wants you all to know that it's only considered "cake" if you put a sweet topping on it. He clarified this while happily munching a piece of gingerbread at breakfast this morning.