Monday, October 12, 2009

Visit your local orchard!

One of my biggest challenges in trying to eat primarily local food is locating fruit. Some fruits do grow here in Kentucky; we have plenty of raspberries right here on our property. I also love pears, apples, peaches, blueberries, strawberries and some fruits, like kiwi, oranges and bananas, that I certainly won’t find locally grown.

When a fruit is in season, I enjoy it to the fullest. Fall, of course, is apple season. So yesterday we drove to Boyd’s Orchard in Versailles and bought nearly 30 pounds of apples. Why so many? Because we love apple pie. When the apples are local and freshly picked, it’s the ideal time to make apple pie filling and freeze it. That turns apple pie baking into a welcome, aromatic activity on even the dreariest of winter days.

My friend Joni gave me this recipe several years ago. The most time consuming part of it, as I was reminded yesterday, is peeling and slicing the apples. However, it’s worth the effort and if you have the right crust to go with it, your pie will get a top rating.

Freezer Apple Pie Filling
6 pounds apples
1 ½ cups to 2 cups sugar
¼ cup flour
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Rinse apples.
Peel and slice into a big pot with lemon juice.
Stir in other ingredients. Let stand 30 minutes until juicy.
Cook over medium heat until it thickens.
Cool 1 – 2 hours. Put 6 cups in each container (freezer bags work well) for one pie.

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