by Stef Jantz, Food Columnist
Spring is in the air and we’re ready! Our trees are budding and they’re ready to grow and bear fruit for whatever our hearts may desire to do so with them.
Whether you are a religious person or not, we’ve all heard the story of the forbidden fruit, or as we know it more today, the apple.
Even though we know apples have been around well, forever, they made their way to America in the 1500s by the French Jesuits.
Later, the pilgrims brought them over, landing in Massachusetts and did so well in their environment that it’s believed that most of Maryland was covered in orchards.
Of course they were too tart to eat, so they crushed them down into cider and fermented quickly. You know what that fermentation caused. Even the children consumed the hard cider.
Soon after, each abled body was to clear and improve their land to keep it so apple orchards were the easy way to.
What helps pollinate? Bees! Bees were needed to help pollinate the orchards even though apple trees also pollinate each other, but they had to be brought over from Europe to harvest.
The bees helped apples become sweeter, so they were more enjoyable and right off the tree. It was realized that they also made delicious meals and desserts.
Apple pie became so popular that the recipe was included in a cookbook, “American Cookery,” in 1796. So, without the honeybee, we’d never truly enjoy the sweetness of the awesome apple.
According to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, there are over 14,000 varieties of apples today. All thanks to bees, pilgrims, travelers, and pioneers.
They knew how to graft trees back in the 1800s!
I’m really glad they did because we have a 5 in 1 apple tree that’s awesome. Thanks to all those varieties, we have hundreds, if not thousands of recipes that include the apple. Each recipe determines the type of apple used since they all have their own flavor.
Example, granny smith is great for apple pie or apple crisp to give that tart flavor and a sweeter apple like honeycrisp or gala is pretty good for an apple bread.
Apples are also pretty great for savory meals too like pork chops with baked apples or applesauce and even stuffed in a turkey as a dressing, especially on holidays..
Personally, one of my favorites is apple crisp.
It’s my go to for gatherings and always gives you that warm feeling when you sit down and enjoy it with a scoop of ice cream. Psst…drizzle some caramel over it too.
I will share my recipe with you but be sure to take a gander on what’s out there and try something new!
*6 granny smith apples – peeled, cored, and sliced
*2 tablespoons white sugar
*1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
*1 cup brown sugar
*3⁄4 cup old-fashioned oats
*3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
*1⁄2 cup cold butter
–Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F –Squirt some lemon juice over cut apples and toss them.
–Mix apples with white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl to coat then pour into a 9-inch square baking dish.
–Mix brown sugar, oats, flour, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a separate bowl.
–Cut in cold butter with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs then spread over apples and pat down gently until even.
–Bake until golden brown and sides are bubbling, about 40 minutes.