One morning, my father stood beside a cutting board, apple-corer poised above a red-and-yellow apple.
“Noooooo!” I shouted, saving the apple from its fate. He looked at me in surprise. He had been eating an apple a day for several months now, for the nutritional benefits, and figured that any of the apples in the bowl on the countertop was fair game.
Usually, this was the case. But the apple I rescued was one of two Weaver’s Orchard apples that I had purchased the day before and wanted to sample. I couldn’t remember if I had ever had a cameo apple (the one currently on the cutting board), and it had been a good 20 years since I’d tasted a Pennsylvania-grown Stayman apple.
Once I explained, my dad chose another apple, and I got to sample the soft and sweet cameo apple. Later, I tried the tart, juicy Stayman and relived memories of apple picking as a teenager.
If you’re as crazy about Pennsylvania apples as I am, I have a dessert recommendation for you. In fact, it’s a Wolff family recipe! This simple gluten-free apple bake adds just a few simple ingredients to turn apples from a snack to a dessert. It calls for tart apples, so locally grown Stayman or Granny Smith apples would work well.
And yes! You can definitely find locally grown apples this time of year. Farmers use a method similar to the old-fashioned root cellar to store their apples all winter long. Some apple varieties, like Stayman, Pink Lady, and Fuji, mature and become sweeter in storage, like a good wine!
So head to Wolff’s Apple House and pick out:
a) Some tart apples for this apple bake;
b) A variety that’s brand new to you that you want to sample; and
c) A variety you picked years ago… so the flavors will bring back memories.
- 3 -4 large tart apples , cored and cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2⁄3 cup apple juice (can use less)
- 2⁄3 cup packed brown sugar (or more to taste)
- 3 tablespoons butter (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or more to taste)
- Set oven to 375 degrees.
- Place apples in an ungreased baking dish.
- Drizzle with lemon juice; toss to coat and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the apple juice, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon.
- Cook and stir, over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.
- Pour over apples.
- Bake, uncovered for 20 mins, or until apples are tender.
- Best served warm with ice cream or whipped topping.