The weather turned crisp and cool this week, which makes it perfect for enjoying apples at a local farm or the 48th annual Peddler’s Village Apple Festival this weekend.
The parade of local apple varieties began in August, but I think the later varieties are the best; the fruit has had more time to hang on the tree and develop the flavors we love to eat fresh or bake into cakes, pies and crisps.
We enjoy apples year round, but fans of America’s favorite fruit know that this is when their flavors really shine. There is nothing quite like enjoying a crisp, freshly picked apple.
Apples don’t just taste good; they also are very good for you. High in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, they also are filling, considering there are fewer than 100 calories in a medium apple. They contain soluble fiber, which is good for digestion.
We know the many ways we can use apples in cooking, and you will find many of them at the Peddler’s Village festival in Lahaska, Nov. 4 and 5 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be apple crumb pies, jams, butters, fritters and cider. True fans of apple pie may want to show their devotion by taking part in the pie-eating contest at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Village Green Balcony.
The festival is one of the Village’s most popular events and parking is limited, so officials there recommend that visitors consider carpooling, taking a taxi or using ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft. For more on the festival see the website peddlersvillage.com/event/apple-festival.
If you prefer bacon over apples, head for Easton for the annual Pennsylvania Bacon Festival this weekend. Or spend one day at each festival. For information on the bacon festival see pabaconfest.com.
In the meantime, here is a recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com for a fresh apple cake that perfect for the season:
2 ½ cups (313g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon EACH ground ginger & allspice
1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
½ cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
1 cup (180g) unsweetened applesauce
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange juice
3 cups peeled chopped apples (1/2-inch chunks, about 2 to 3 large apples)
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
2. Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice together in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Whisk the oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, eggs, vanilla extract, and orange juice together in a medium bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Fold in the chopped apples until combined. It will seem like a lot of apples and that’s OK!
4. Pour and spread batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 45–50 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on it. Around the 30-minute mark, loosely tent with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before topping or serving.
6. Right before serving, you can top the slightly warm cake with a dusting of 2 tablespoons (15g) confectioners’ sugar.