Saturday, September 15, 2012

National Apple Month

Sure looks good..
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Chef Diane

Ever since Eve took a bite in the Garden of Eden, apples have been a very popular fruit.  It was one of the first things I fed my baby, and he lived on apple juice.  I'm sure you have heard the saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  That’s because they contain vitamins A and C and they also have Omega 3 and 6.  Eating the skin is great for your fiber intake and they also contain carbohydrates to fill you up.  They have no fats or cholesterol and, they are really tasty too.
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I have a friend who lives in New York and he claims they have the best apples in the country.  I wonder if that’s why they call New York the big apple.  He loves the Empire apples which are just one of the varieties that are produced there.  In fact, New York is one of the top 5 states that produce apples.   There are over 20 different varieties there, and in the fall when they are harvested, he lives on fresh apple cider. Some other interesting facts about apples from NewYorkapplecountry.com are:
  • The world's largest apple peel was created by Kathy Wafler Madison on October 16, 1976, in Rochester, NY. It was 172 feet, 4 inches long. (She was 16 years old at the time and grew up to be a sales manager for an apple tree nursery.)
  • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
  • An apple tree will start bearing fruit 8-10 years after it is planted. A dwarf tree starts bearing in 3-6 years.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family of plants along with pears, peaches, plums and cherries.
  • Apples come in all shades of reds, greens and yellows.
  • Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
  • 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
  • 7500 varieties of apples are grown around the world.
  • 100 varieties of apples are commercially grown in the United States.
  • Apples are grown commercially in 36 states.
  • Apples are fat, sodium and cholesterol free. And they taste great too!
  • A medium apple has about 80 calories.
  • Apples are a great source of pectin, a soluble fiber. One apple has 5 grams of fiber.
  • The pilgrims planted the first US apples trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.
  • Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.
  • Americans eat 19.6 pounds of apples every year.
  • 25 percent of an apple’s volume is air, that’s why they float.
  • Most apple blossoms are pink when they open but gradually fade to white.
  • Most apple trees can be grown farther north than most other fruits because they blossom late in spring, minimizing frost damage.
  • It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
  • Apples are the second most valuable fruit in the United States. Oranges are first.
  • The largest U.S. apple crop was 277.3 million bushels in 1998.
  • Archaeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since 6500 BC.
  • Newton Pippin apples were the first apples exported from America in 1768, some were sent to Benjamin Franklin in London.
  • In 1730 the first apple nursery was opened in Flushing, New York.
  • One of George Washington’s hobbies was pruning his apple trees.
  • A peck of apples weight 10.5 pounds.
  • A bushel of apples weight 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce.
  • Apples ripen or soften ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerate.

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Some apples are better to cook with.  When my father baked apple pies, he used granny smith apples.  While doing some research for this article. I called him to ask which type he used, I told him I’m not baking one. Just needed the information.  Well after I got off the phone, I felt guilty, so, I went and got the stuff and baked 2 pies.  I took one to my parents, and one to their neighbor.   Since the recipe I used was my father's secret family recipe, I only felt that was right to take one to him.  Here is his recipe for Apple Crumb pie.  It’s easy and delicious, and since he no longer slices his own apples, it quicker too.

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September is National Apple Month.  Enjoy some nice fresh apples today, and keep the doctor away!

Apple Crumb Pie

Filling
  • 2 cans sliced apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 deep dish pie shells


Topping
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar


Directions

Preheat oven to 400.  Rinse apples and let them drain.  Pour them in pie shell.  Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over apples.  In a bowl, cut butter with a fork or masher.  Add flour and sugar and mix.  Pour over top of pie.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Top with ice cream or cool whip and enjoy.

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