With over 2,500 kinds grown every year in the U.S., apples are perhaps the favorite fruit of the fall harvest. It’s long been said that “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” and nutrition experts agree: apples contain no fat, no sodium, and no cholesterol, are a good source of fiber, and a medium-sized apple contains just 80 calories. Go beyond an apple a day by indulging in sweet treats at destinations across the U.S. that showcase fall’s favorite fruit.
Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: 25-Pound Apple Pie
In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Dollywood’s grand apple pie is baked the old-fashioned way, in a cast iron skillet. With over 40 apples this 25-pound pie the biggest, best fall treat ever. Though best enjoyed at harvest time, it’s available at the park year-round.
Travel restrictions keeping you close to home this year? Place your pie order from Spotlight Bakery and you can dig into the 25-pound apple pie from the comfort of your own home.
Hendersonville, North Carolina: U-Pick Apple Orchards
Henderson County, North Carolina is the largest apple-producing county in North Carolina. Their handy orchard trail guide highlights 21 different orchards and markets where people can stop and stock up on the fall fruit during harvest season while also enjoying fall fun in the form of corn mazes, wagon rides, and even apple cannons.
Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard, Winchester, Virginia: Winchester Ciderworks
The beautiful town of Winchester, in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, is home to Winchester Ciderworks and Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard, owned by sisters Diane Kearns and Katherine Solenberger. Winchester Ciderworks makes traditional English cider using its own estate-grown apples, and at the adjacent farm you can find a market and bakery as well as homemade soaps and candles.
The Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown, New York: Apple Crisp with Homemade Granola Topping
Cooperstown could well be considered the apple destination with the most ‘variety’: there are more varieties grown here than anywhere else in the U.S. The culinary team at The Otesaga Resort Hotel rolls out the red carpet every fall with their acclaimed seasonal dessert, Apple Crisp with Homemade Granola Topping. While in town, choose from dozens of apple orchards where your family can enjoy a pick-your-own experience that promises a huge haul of apples, ready for snacking or baking.
Can’t make it to the Otesaga to taste their delicious apple crisp this year? The resort’s culinary team recently shared their top-secret recipe.
- 2 # Old fashioned Oats
- 1 # Almonds
- 1 # Pecans
- 1 # Walnuts
- 1 # Coconut
- 1 # Sunflower Seeds
- 8 oz Melted Butter
- 1 1/2 Cups Maple Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
- 1/2 Cup Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 ounce Ground Cinnamon
- Mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
- Melt butter in a small saucepot, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Pour syrup mixture over dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Divide out mixture onto three sheet pans that have been sprayed with cooking oil.
- Cook in a 300-degree Fahrenheit oven for ten minutes. Stir granola to re-distribute and cook for another ten to fifteen minutes, or until mixture is golden brown.
Apple Pie Filling
- 2.5 lbs apples, frozen and sliced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp salt
- Mix all ingredients together in a saucepot and heat on low until apples have softened and it is thoroughly mixed.
- Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and begins to bubble.
- Remove from heat and cool.
- Apple filling can then be used for pie filling, stuffed French toast, strudel, and more!
Executive Pastry Chef Peter Calhoun suggests using Granny Smith apples, since they keep their shape well and are nice and tart. Adding lemon juice water to keep them from turning brown isn’t necessary, he says, as most of the time you add brown sugar and/or cinnamon and turn them brown anyway.