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Food & Drink  //  October 2020

For the Love of Apples
By Amanda Dudek

     Nestled among the gently rolling hills of Brockport lies Robb Farms. For more than 100 years, the Robb family has produced delicious fruits and vegetables on this 300-acre property. “My husband’s great-grandfather, who owned a farm east of Robb Farms, saw this property come up for sale when he rode by it on a trolley in 1912,” shared Margery Robb. “We received the Century Farm Award from the New York State Agricultural Society in 2014, and now, we are celebrating fall and inviting people to come pick their own apples!”

     This 3rd generation farm, which has already welcomed its 4th and 5th generations, features 19 varieties of apples! “Our apple harvest is really good,” said Robb. Along with homemade donuts, the farm also began making cider the 3rd week of September, waiting for certain varieties of apples to reach perfection. “McIntosh apples are our base,” she explained. “Then, we add other currently ripe varieties to it.” 


 

Apple Picking Pointers

Pick-Your-Own! Find an orchard that lets you do the work! September to early-October is the best time to go, and don’t forget to bring the kids and make it a family affair. Some orchards also host activities like hay rides, petting zoos, pumpkins and other produce, along with homemade cider.
• For picking, work from the outside in: apples on the outer limbs ripen first, but make sure both you and they are ready! Picking apples stops the process. Store them carefully too –bruised apples rot faster and can cause the others you picked to rot as well if they’re all kept together.
• Don’t shake the branches! Not only can this cause numerous apples to fall to the ground and create food waste, but it can also bruise the fruit and people in your party.
• Make a day of it! What you’ll get out of the experience is what you put into it, and make sure to dress for the occasion too. Denim paired with some boots or sneakers might be a safer bet depending on the weather.

Area Apple Farms to Explore!

Duncan Family Farms: 4490 Sweden Walker Rd, Brockport
Fishers Tree Farm: 467 Euler Rd, Brockport
Green Acre Farms U Pick: 3460 Latta Rd, Rochester
Hurd Orchards: 17260 W Ridge Rd, Holley
Kirby’s Farm Market: 9739 W Ridge Rd, Brockport
McCracken Farms: 701 White Rd, Brockport
West Wind Fruit Farm: 928 Manitou Rd, Hilton
Whittier Fruit Farm: 219 Whittier Rd, Rochester

Apple Pie: An American Staple

Frankly, there’s nothing like a traditional apple pie. With a flaky crust, tender apples, cinnamon, and a dollop of whipped cream on the side, not much beats this dessert when it comes to rounding out dinner. (Or maybe to eat as dinner, if you’re feeling particularly daring!) Baked from scratch, apple pies carry the taste of home and recipes passed down through tradition, not to mention that satisfaction that comes with making something completely on your own.

Baking an apple pie or apple crisp, depending on preferences, can also bookend a day spent at the orchard, bringing the family together as everyone tackles their own roles in the baking process!

5-Step Apple Crisp

Apple crisp hero 1064
     • 6 Apples
     • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
     • ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
     • 2 tsp Cinnamon
     • 1 Stick Butter
     • 1 Cup Rolled Oats

Directions: [1] Peel, core and slice the apples. [2] Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon with the sliced apples and layer in the bottom of a buttered 8”x8” baking pan. [3] Combine brown sugar, rolled oats and butter that has been chilled and small diced. [4] Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. [5] Enjoy…maybe with some vanilla ice cream!

Homemade Apple Sauce

     • 8 Apples
     • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
     • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Directions: [1] Wash apples, cut them into quarters and core them. [2] Steam the apples until soft, leaving skins on. [2] Use a food mill to crush, grind and sieve the apples, creating a sauce texture. [3] Add sugar to taste. One cup is an approximation, and final amount will depend on individual taste and sweetness of the apples used. [4] Mix in ground cinnamon, if preferred.