Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apples, Apples, Apples!

Is there anything more 'fall' than an afternoon of apple-picking? This is my favourite time of year, bar none, and having lived in the city for half my life, I appreciate the chance to escape to the country more and more, particularly in late September, early October when the leaves are changing.

So on this chilly first weekend of October, my sister and I bundled up and headed out to an orchard in Waterdown, Ont. Despite its unfortunate name and slightly maniacal looking mascot, Frootogo Orchards offers a great variety of fruit for the picking as well as a cute store packed with homemade preserves and baked goods (the apple turnovers and hot spiced cider make a great post-picking treat), a pumpkin patch, and a big kids' play area. But we were there for the apples, so we plunked two empty baskets in a wagon and headed out.

Because we were picking later in the season, there were only about half a dozen varieties to choose from (more than enough, really). We started with Fortunes and Jonagolds, both of which are supposed to be excellent for baking. This will be my first time using either variety, as I often bake with Crispins and Northern Spys.

From there we picked some Galas and Spencers, the latter of which is another new one for me. Spencers are, according to the farm's chart, better for eating out of hand than baking but we'll see. Truthfully some of the varieties look so alike it'll be hard to tell them apart. One notable exception was the Cortland, which was so deep red it looked almost burgundy next to the others. We ended our day with a few of those (good for eating raw and baking), and wheeled our brimming baskets back to the main building to be weighed and paid for. Let me tell you, you end up with a lot more apples than you think. If I had to wager I'd guess at least 20 lbs' worth. That's a lot of applesauce, apple crisp, and apple cake. Oh, and probably a pie or two.
If you have a great apple recipe, I'd love to know! Post a comment or email me at


  1. Do you know until when is the apple season? I would love to do that it would be so much fun but dont know if I am late in the season to do it.. ?

  2. might have another week or two, but I'd say by early November the season will be over.