Apple Season Boasts Flavorful Options
Taking Home That Classic Taste of Fall
A Southern fall is just around the corner, while tomatoes beckon a few more canning sessions. Our farmers are putting their orchards to bed for the winter, yet the sweat factor is still in full force. It’s a beautiful dichotomous season to say the least, and it’s my favorite. Still, taking an autumn trip to Wisconsin is a surefire way to get this Southerner all giddy.
Can you smell it? No, no…not the campfire smoke. Take a big whiff. With a mama like the rose, its sweet perfume is no surprise. It’s APPLE season, y’all!
In celebration of all things apple, I’m on a quest to bring the flavors of a Door County autumn back home. Needless to say, the TSA folks are going to love me:
Wood Orchard Market
8112 State Highway 42
Egg Harbor, WI
Steve and Janice Wood offer an array of apple varieties, but it’s the Sweet Tango that is most intriguing. The Woods, who have been farming their 200-acre orchard since 1995, were among 45 growers selected to propagate this variety developed by the University of Minnesota. While not a pick-your-own experience, this sweet and tart variety is a must-try and Wood Orchard Market is the only place in Wisconsin to get them.
Seaquist Orchards Farm Market
11482 Highway 42
Sister Bay, WI
There’s 30 acres of apples and pears at the 950-acre Seaquist family orchard, and through the end of October you can pick or select from more than a dozen varieties. Planning on apple pie for Thanksgiving? Try the late season Cortland apple. It doesn’t brown when sliced, and will starve your dinner guests to death with its beautiful aroma. Remember October 8 as it marks the annual Seaquist Apple Festival.
Hofacker’s Hillside Orchard
W3964 Wege Rd
Pack up the kiddos and head for the hills because Hofacker’s offers field trips upon request. Pick your own or opt for hand-sorted apples. If you just can’t wait for the mother load of autumn apples, Mollie’s Delicious is the way to go. It ripens early and is plain old good eatin’, yet stores for up to 10 weeks.
After filling your apple buckets, you may just want to grab a little inspiration. Here are a few apple treats not to be missed:
2189 Cty. Rd. DK
Sturgeon Bay, WI
I always snack on a sack of cheese curds from this Door County institution while visiting the Door. But, the Apples and Cinnamon Jack Cheese is a game-changer. Master Cheesemaker Chris Renard crafts this semi-soft cheese with sweet apples and cinnamon. It’s buttery and would probably pair with just about anything.
Island Orchard Cider
12040 Garrett Bay Road
Ellison Bay, WI
This hand-crafted, Normandy-style cider starts with cider cultivars. The orchard is situated on a Washington Island hillside overlooking Lake Michigan and its terroir shines through in every one of Island Orchard Ciders. Sole proprietors, Bob and Yannique Purman, recognize the seasonal nature of their work and take extra care as a sustainable business. Celebrate life’s simple pleasures or special occasions with this effervescent apple treat.
Want to try your hand at cider pressing? Mark your calendars for the annual Fall Fun Fest and Cider Pressing Party on Washington Island October 8-9.
1222 N. Superior St.
Who can get their mouths around a caramel apple anyway? Appleton folks will tell you, this is one time you better start exercising those jaw muscles. Famous for their handmade chocolates, September ushers in the onslaught of caramel apples at this corner chocolatier. Place your orders early for these locally-sourced treats and snag a few chocolate-covered cherries while there.
If you simply can’t stand caramel apple sticky cheeks, the Whisky Caramel Sauce in this recipe keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, and is screaming for decadent Wisconsin cream, butter and most certainly Door County Whisky. Make ahead and dip slices of your favorite apple as an afternoon snack or dessert by the campfire.