Apple lovers rejoice: now's the time to pick fresh fruit



Posted on September 10, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 11 at 10:06 AM

SNOHOMISH -- A sign that Fall is in the air: dozens of different varieties of apples in your grocery store. It's apple harvest time in Washington state and a bonanza for fruit lovers.

Last year, the average U.S. consumer ate 19 lbs of fresh apples -- that's about one a week.

Local orchards like Swan's Trail Farm in Snohomish are in the midst of harvesting apples.

"Right now the Honey crisp apples are coming off the tree's, we have an early crop because of the great summer weather we had," said Ben Krause, owner of Swan's Trail Farm.

Swan's is a u-pick orchard. During the week, school kids are bussed in and given the opportunity to pick their own apples.

According to the Washington State Apple Commission, the average size of an orchard is 50 acres, but some cover as many as 3,000 acres. An estimated 35,000 to 45,000 pickers are employed during the peak harvest.
Once the apples are picked, you can eat them right off the tree or do what baker Johanna Brady does -- make a pie. Brady works at Swan's Trail Farm, baking pies during the season.

"I usually use 8 apples to fill an average pie tin, the homegrown apples are special, they're extra sweet and juicy, so the pie tastes great," Brady said.

During peak season, Brady can end up baking more than 20 pies a day. No matter which way you choose to consume, now is the time to eat your apples.

The Cakewalk Shop @ Swan’s Trail Farm Apple Pie Recipe

- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 oz vegetable shortening, chilled
- 8 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 6-10 tbsp ice cold water

1 egg, beaten
¼ cup water
Coarse sugar

- 6-8 fresh apples, peeled and sliced
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Juice of one lemon

Begin by mixing flour sugar and salt together in a food processor.  Add butter and pulse until there are no longer any butter chunks.  Add shortening and pulse 2-3 times until just incorporated.  Dump flour mixture into a large bowl, sprinkle in 6 tablespoons of water, and gently mix with hands.  Add additional water by the tablespoon until flour combines into a loose dough.  Be careful not to overwork the dough.  Separate into two pieces and chill for at least one hour.  Once chilled, roll the dough into two circles.  Use one to line bottom of 9” pie pan and the other will be the pie top.  Chill until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Peel, core and slice the apples into ¼ inch thick pieces.  Place into another large bowl.  Frequently squeeze lemon juice over slices to prevent browning.  When all apples have been sliced, add sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. 

Empty apples into bottom crust and discard any juice at the bottom of the bowl. Center top crust over pie, and fold edges under the bottom crust, pressing to seal.  Combine beaten egg and water, brush over top crust.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar.  Cut four slits into top crust.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling.  Allow to cool before slicing.