The Wolff family loves produce of all flavors, shapes and stripes.  They not only know the farmers who grew the produce, they also know all you would ever want to know about the local produce itself: how it grows, the varieties you can find it in and when they ripen, how this year’s crop differs from past years’ and, of course, what each variety tastes like.

Apples were the start of this love and knowledge of produce.  Over a century ago, Anne Wolff and her five children moved from Bermuda to Lima, PA.  Soon after that, Anne’s youngest son, Frank, planted an apple orchard at the age of eighteen, fulfilling a dream he’d cultivated for a long time.  Frank first sold the apples out of his barn, and then the trees became so productive he had to expand.  He built a small produce stand and sold fresh produce to passersby.  By 1930, he had so much to sell that he built the first permanent structure, which still stands today and houses our cafe by the original stone fireplace, our bakery, prepared food and dairy departments and more.

Since apples were the start of it all, it’s no surprise that we included an apple sampling and apple recipe demo among our cooking classes this summer.  On Tuesday, about 40 guests gathered by that same stone fireplace that Frank Wolff built in 1930.  There, they learned about apple varieties from Ashley Wolff, Frank’s great-granddaughter.

Honeycrisp apples. Ashley Wolff describes these apples as, “Extremely sweet, flavorful and juicy, with just a hint of tartness. The flavor is very balanced. They have an amazingly crisp and snappy texture.”

“I talked about the many varieties of apples that are in season right now,” says Ashley.  “I discussed their flavor and texture as we handed out samples of each variety. I talked about how the unique flavor and texture profile makes each apple a better candidate for snacking, baking, sauce, or some combination of these.”

Gala apples. “Very sweet and mellow, this apple has little to no tartness,” says Ashley Wolff. “It has a nice crisp, firm texture.”

Ashley particularly enjoyed the audience participation.  “The crowd had many great questions about apples,” she said.  For anyone who missed the demo but still has questions about apples, there’s still a chance to explore apple varieties and ask questions.  There are twelve varieties of apples available at Wolff’s this week, and Wolff’s staff can tell you all about the flavors and help you find the apple you’re craving!

During the next part of the event, Marie Connell of MyHouse Cookies showed the guests how to make apple chutney.   This was the second cooking class of the season for Marie Connell, whose pies, quiches and baked goods are available at Wolff’s and use produce from our store.

Marie’s two classes had more in common than just using fresh, in-season produce.  In both classes, Marie inspired guests to think beyond the usual recipes when it comes to using fresh fruit.

In her first class, rather than demonstrate how to make traditional peach desserts, Marie demonstrated how to make peach salsa and grilled peaches.

In Tuesday’s class, Marie pushed the audience outside the box once again, demonstrating how to make an apple chutney so good it’ll have you licking the spoon and scraping the bottom on the pan.  The chutney blends sweet, spicy and slightly pickled flavors.  It is delicious with pork or a salty roast chicken, and crostini, goat cheese and apple chutney would make a memorable seasonal appetizer.

Apple Chutney


Apple Chutney

  • Author: Marie Connell


  • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and half-inch diced (any tart, firm apple will do)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges)
  • 3⁄4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon whole, dried mustard seeds
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. It can be used immediately or it can be stored, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Coming next week: Marie Connell will share pie tips, talk about this chutney and catch us up on what’s baking at MyHouse Cookies this fall.