Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Apple Season

Although October is officially APPLE MONTH, September has always kicked off an apple-pie-baking frenzy in my family. As a child I'd tag along with my mother and grandmother to various produce stands along back country roads in southern Wisconsin mid-September through October. I remember sitting at my grandmother's kitchen table, eating apple peels while she and my mother baked pies. Grandma always used her mother's pie recipe while my mother enjoyed experimenting with recipes from women's magazines. The smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and apple never fail to trigger fond memories of those days.

A few fun Apple facts:

The top five apple producing countries in the world are: China, United States, Poland, Turkey, Italy.

The top five apple producing states in the US are: Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California.

The top seven apples varieties grown in the U.S. in 2003, accounting for 90% of the total apple production that year: Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Rome.

Planting an apple seed from a particular apple will not produce a tree of that same variety. The seed is a cross of the tree the fruit was grown on and the variety that was the cross pollinator.

Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated. For optimal storage, apples should be kept at 35-40 degrees with relative humidity of 80-90%.

Apples are a member of the rose family.

The science of apple growing is called pomology.

Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.

Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.

The apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea.

The average size of a United States orchard is 50 acres.

Apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the United States. Oranges are first.

In colonial time apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth.

America's longest-lived apple tree was reportedly planted in 1647 by Peter Stuyvesant in his Manhattan orchard and was still bearing fruit when a derailed train struck it in 1866.

If you love apple pie and want to try a new recipe I'll be sharing some reader favorites in my October newsletter. If you haven't already signed up for my monthly newsletter you can do so at Just click on the Newsletter link. Then send your favorite apple pie recipe to and I'll include it in my newsletter.

Happy Baking!

Samantha's Cowboy (Aug 09)
A Cowboy Christmas (Dec 09)


Mint said...

I love apples. Apple pie is one of my favorites. My youngest is crazy about Granny Smith's. I prefer the Red Delicious.

Linda Henderson

PamStone said...

Hey Marin. It must really be in the air. We had apple pie for dinner last night. Yum.

Linda Warren said...

Hey Marin,
You're making me hungry. I love the smell of an apple pie baking. Brings back memories of my mom, too.

I got the most wonderful surprise in the mail yesterday. Tall, Dark & Dangerous arrived, and I'm not talking about the mailman. It was a book. I told my husband Harlquin sent me somone else's book and then I saw the titles - The Sheriff of Horseshoe, Texas and A Cowboy's Promise (Harlequin Mills and Boon). Wow! I loved it. I hope you received yours. It's great to share a book.

Marin Thomas said...

Mint--I love Granny Smith apples with carmel dip--the best!

Pam--did you bake your own pie or by it? I should mention Tootie Pies in Texas, have you ever had one--you can mail order them. Neat history behind the company and how it started.

Linda--I just got my box of Tall, Dark and Handsome last week and it was a fun surprise--here's to lots of sales--I hope!