Friday, 3 October 2014

LIFE: Orchard, Apples and Pumpkin Fields

Erwin Orchard Picking Erwin Orchard Picking

With Michigan ranking third in the apple production in the US, one of our great autumnal traditions, and a birthday treat, is taking a trip to the Erwin Orchard and Cider Mill (where we visited last year) in South Lyon. At a time when most people (me included) were just getting up out of bed on Sunday morning, we'd grabbed our 1/2 bushel bag and were taking a tractor ride around the orchards.
Erwin Orchard Picking Erwin Orchard Picking

Autumn calls for pies, it calls for thick, deep apple pies (clicky for my go to vintage apple pie recipe) with custard, for some more of that caramel apple jam I made last year and nothing beats picking it fresh from the tree. Granted a bit of tree climbing is always involved but that's half the fun. Slotted between the miles of rows of apple trees, pumpkins are getting lovely and rip, big fat orange balls of Halloween goodness. We ended up picking about 60 or so apples in total, a mix between Northern Spry - a tart cooking apple and McIntosh a lovely sweet apple which is an ideal mixed use apple. 

Erwin Orchard Picking Erwin Orchard Picking

While the raspberry patch is often overlooked compared to all the orchards, the cider and the doughnuts, we always like to top up on our stock, especially with apple pies on the horizon when i'll just throw a load in for good measure. That and jam, there's always a need for more raspberry jam.  

Erwin Orchard Picking

So today (Friday) you shall find me in the kitchen baking apple and raspberry pies and trying out a raspberry loaf cake no doubt many of which will be enjoyed over the weekend.

Do you have any autumn traditions and favorite things to bake?
 

26 comments:

  1. Michigan apples are the best :) My family and I always used to go to Verellen's (out in Romeo) or Blake's (if you've heard of it?) Apple picking was always so much fun to do and we even took a few field trips to the orchards when I was in elementary school!
    ~ Samantha
    samsamcherie.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Admittedly I had to google those places - i'm not so good on places north of say 23 mile lol. I love how they all have little petting farms and rides - it's so fun - must be awesome to visit when your a kid!

      Delete
  2. Raspberry loaf cake sounds incredible! You've got me in the mood to do a spot of baking, I'll have to get someone else to pick the fruit for me though :) I'm hoping to start some autumn traditions this year, like eating all the pumpkin flavoured things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to admit, i'm so pleased wit how the raspberry loaf cake turned out - it's so good, even though it ended up being a little short on the raspberry front. I still haven't ever tried anything pumpkin, I keep meaning too!

      Delete
  3. I'll be getting some home grown fruit from my Grandma this weekend - I love autumn!

    Lizzie's Daily Blog

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mmmm apple pie! My nan used to make apple and blackcurrant pies all the time and then give us six to keep in the freezer! I haven't made a fruit pie in ages, I actually quite fancy trying to make a pumpkin pie, I've never had pumpkin before.

    Raspberry loaf cake sounds good too!

    We really don't have many traditions as the two of us, and we were never big on family traditions either. We've never really had the opportunity for traditions... maybe in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never had pumpkin either. I'm sure that's some kind of crime in the US. I'm not really big on traditions either, although I do enjoy the ones me and Joe make up - like the apple picking and our little versions of thanksgiving/chritsmas. We can please ourselves that way.

      But blackcurrent and apple pie - now that sounds tasty!

      Delete
  5. That sounds so lovely! We don't really have any traditions but I do love a good apple pie with vanilla sauce :)

    lifeofannas.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vanilla sauce sounds intriging - I always enjoy mind wit either ice cream or cream.

      Delete
  6. I have never picked apples before... I would love to though since apples are some of my favorite fruit! A raspberry loaf cakes sounds yummy! And no... I don't really have any autumn traditions or things to bake in autumn... My parents never did anything when I was growing up for this season! They only o concentrated on Christmas. But when I have kids I want to bake pies and such so my kids can grow up with some fall memories :)

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh apple picking is so much fun especially if you get to climb some trees in the process. We use to get boxes and boxes full of apples off our trees growing up - all cooking apples. Got us all through the year when it came to pies.

      Delete
  7. What a wonderful tradition, I am pretty sure it was
    a lot of fun. (:
    And I love apple pie so much. ;D

    dearmisscoco.blogspot.de

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love visiting orchard and cider mills in Michigan! Autumn in Michigan is magical! Autumn traditions? I always eat with the seasons (no out-of-season imports for me!), so as summer fruits come to an end I start baking with apples, pears, persimmons, dried fruits, pumpkins, mincemeat. My mother's family was English and I have wonderful memories of being in the kitchen baking with her and her mother.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This place looks awesome. I want to move to Michigan now! I am looking for somewhere in Yorkshire where I can pick my own pumpkin but I can't find anywhere yet! Blackberry and Apple crumble is my Autumn go to recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love crumbles, need to remember to bake one!

      Delete
  10. Autumnal perfection - I can almost smell the apple pie & raspberry loaf baking now mmmmm. Do you like warmed cider? It you add spice to it (cinnamon, nutmeg) it is stunning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha I like any kind of cider - have to get some to add some spices to it, sounds yum!

      Delete
  11. Those apples look gorgeous! And the fields are beautiful. You remind me that I need to get my butt into gear and hit the orchards before they close to the public!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Apple pie is definitely one of THE most autumnal things!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I want to visit a Michigan cider mill so bad! We were hoping to take a trip up there this fall but I'm starting a new job so that won't be possible :p My favorite things to bake are anything that include squash, I am obsessed with squash!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh gosh, I sure do miss Michigan pumpkin patches & cider mills! My FAVs were the ones in Franklin and Northville. I wonder if they are still there. Cider, cinnamon donuts, caramel apples OH MY!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This looks great - I love the thought of picking your own, especially since we dont have a good garden to grow things in! I've only ever been to corn and blackcurrant pick your own places, and I was a kid back then so don't remember much!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Caramel apple jam?? I think you need to share the recipe for that one! We're going apple picking this weekend and that sounds like an amazing recipe to cook up with our haul! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the recipe I used: www.thesimpledollar.com/homemade-gift-series-3-caramel-apple-jam - it's very sweet but super tasty.

      Delete