Saturday, August 25, 2012

Harvesting Apples!

Today we visited a pick your own fruit farm in Northern Virginia called Hartland Farm and Orchard.  Hartland Orchard is found in some pretty AMAZING countryside not far from several wineries and other pick your own fruit farms.  When you enter the property you can see cows and horses grazing in pastures or lazing in the pond, cute white farm houses and orchards that seem to go on and on.  It is always nice to visit someone else's farm.  You get a small taste of the fruits of their labors without having to go through the hassle of planting the crops, watering, fertilizing or treating for insects...but you get to enjoy 45 minutes to an hour of pure romantic harvesting.  And then when the bugs start to irritate you because they are flying in your ears and you forgot to spray your head with bug can pay for your fruit and get out!

We left Hartland Farms and Orchard with a half peck of all different kinds of apples and a full peck of peaches.  I was extremely impressed with the quality of the fruit on their trees!  Before we even got our haul home I was already making plans for our apples.  I planned to make a crisp, but accidentally typed Apple Cobbler into the search engine and found several recipes.  I've made LOTS of Peach Cobbler, but Apple Cobbler?  Oh Yeah!

French Apple Cobbler:
5 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup sugar - you could use less depending on how sweet your apples are
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter, softened

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, slightly beaten

Combine apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and water.  Turn into a lightly buttered 9-inch square pan.  Dot apples with butter.

Combine all topping ingredients and beat with wooden spoon until batter is smooth.  Drop batter in 9 portions over the apples, spacing evenly.  Batter with spread during baking.

Bake 35- 40 minutes at 375 F or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.  Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

Serves 6-8

The apples I used were SUPER sweet and crazy flavorful, so I could have gotten by with using less sugar.  I also didn't serve with ice cream, which could have been part of the reason for the abundant sweetness. :)  Because I was originally thinking of a crisp, I kinda wanted more texture.  Next time I might try adding oats.

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