It’s October – Apple Time! Where to pick them, and a few yummy recipes

apples on tree
Pick em fresh from the tree

My husband just LOVES apples! You’ve probably heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, he certainly eats at least one apple every day. Maybe even two, or sometimes three. Actually, last weekend we went to a local apple orchard, and I swear he ate five. Honestly! September and October is certainly apple time in our part of the United States. Every year we can’t resist going to the orchard when they are in season, and picking two big canvas bags worth. The price was good, but because of the weight, we spent almost $50 total for those filled sacks. Good grief! What are we to do with all of the apples? Even my hubby can’t manage to eat them up too quickly.

My husband has his clear favorite apples varieties (Jonathan and Macoun), but the orchard we go to has several types, some ready to pick earlier than others. What is your favorite type of apple?

apples in bagsDo you have an apple orchard near you? Not sure? Visit to find a list of orchards throughout the USA. There are limited listings of orchards in other countries, as well. Sometimes they provide you with bags. We bring our own canvas bags that are sturdy enough to carry the huge loads. Call your local orchard to check what they have in season and when. It may differ by state. Some orchards even have seasonal festivals that are fun for kids and adults.

Warm apple cider, cider donuts, apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, the sky is almost the limit! What is your favorite apple concoction? Do you like apples with cinnamon, and maybe whipped cream or vanilla ice cream? Or do you just eat the apples raw?

Just in case you have some apples on hand, and don’t know how to use them, below you can find a few of my favorite apple recipes. The hyperlinks go to my recipe box on Taste of Home’s website.

Jewish Apple Cake

Jewish Apple Cake

My family isn’t Jewish, but my mother received this recipe from a Jewish work friend who said it was a favorite in her family. We loved it, too. It is the type of cake you bring to a party and get raves about. The recipe has probably traveled a bit because it was so often requested. Once I made two of these cakes so I could sell pieces at my autumn garage sale with hot cinnamon infused apple cider. Instead of buying pieces, two women asked to buy the whole cakes. Well, actually my husband and I luckily each ate a piece from one before the second cake sold. Yes, the second cake sold partially eaten. It’s a rather big cake that feeds a lot of people. We like to eat it for breakfast or dessert. Click Jewish Apple Cake to find the recipe.

Apple Strudel

apple strudel
Apple Strudel (with phyllo dough)

My husband is a Czech, and apple strudel is popular there, as well as other countries in Central Europe. You may have even had apple strudel where you live, since it’s such a popular dessert. My Czech mother-in-law used to make the strudel dough from scratch, which is a very complicated task requiring a lot of practice. I tried making the dough once, but failed miserably. Instead, I make it with phyllo dough. In the USA, you can find phyllo dough in the freezer section of the store usually near puffed pastry dough or frozen pie shells. Definitely eat it with whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, as you prefer. Click Apple Strudel to find my recipe.

Apple Compote

apple compote
Apple Compote

The final recipe I’ll post is one that seems the simplest. Have you ever had compote? Compote is a dish consisting of stewed fruit, usually cooked in a syrup or with sugar and spices. Click Old Fashioned Apple Compote to see my recipe, which is a great way to use large numbers of apples. There is a lot of peeling and slicing to be done. Grab a friend or spouse to help with this one. I tend to use the lesser amount of sugar in the recipe, because my husband loves the sweetness of the apples to also shine. We usually use Jonathan or Macoun apples. Tarter apples may need more sugar. It has just a touch of cinnamon, but the main secondary star is lemon peel. You peel the lemon’s zest off with a vegetable peeler and then cut it into small squares. The cooking not only softens the apples, but the lemon peel, too. We find it to be a lovely taste combination! It tastes good warm, but even better chilled, in our opinions. We make so much of it that we freeze some in freezer bags. That makes for a nice treat in the winter.

Enjoy your apples!


34 thoughts on “It’s October – Apple Time! Where to pick them, and a few yummy recipes

  1. Nel October 3, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    Yum! I don’t know my apple varieties but I like crisp, firm apples. When they’re mushy on the inside, I don’t like eating them raw as much. I’ll eat apples cooked though anytime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 2:18 pm

      My hubby is the apple expert in my family. I just name an apple and he describes it like as if it was a wine. I, like you, love apples cooked. In fact, that’s usually the only way I enjoy them, except maybe raw in a salad.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Vandana October 3, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    Ahh! That’s a mouth-watering post you’ve shared Cindy!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Vandana October 3, 2017 / 3:48 pm

        I wish I do that soon! Thinking about fruits, I’m missing the summer mangoes..😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 5:26 pm

        I like mangos, too. I often buy them frozen and make smoothies out of them.

        I’m missing the fresh figs. I saw them in the grocery store last week, but today they were gone. They were only selling dried figs. I lost my chance to buy them fresh. I only bought them once this year. I make a lamb dish with figs that I love. I also make a special fig dessert. Oh well, the fig dessert is really high in calories. It’s just as well I didn’t make it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Vandana October 3, 2017 / 6:18 pm

        Oh yes! Figs and lamb would definitely taste yummy! I do a fig and sapota breakfast smoothie, which is delicious and wholesome. One shouldn’t mind the calories, once in a while! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 7:11 pm

        Of course not. Especially if it is a fruit or a vegetable 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. foodallergydad October 3, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    I work at our local apple orchard in the fall. I love it! It’s the best time of year to be outside!

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 5:17 pm

      Oh, I definitely agree! My husband’s first job in the US was working at the orchard. While working there he REALLY ate a lot of apples. I think he ate them as his lunch.

      Autumn is my favorite season. Today is splendid. In the high 60s/low 70s and brilliant blue sky. I don’t expect you to read it, but if you like, I wrote a popular post about autumn coming (back over a month ago) at

      Liked by 1 person

      • foodallergydad October 3, 2017 / 6:41 pm

        I love it! I am leaving a comment on the original post, too. Fall is the best!

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 7:16 pm

        Thanks, foodallergydad! Enjoy! Do you often get brilliantly blue sky days in autumn? We do. The combo of blue skies, cool air, colorful leaves, and earthy smells is super delicious. Today I even wore a very light jacket.


      • foodallergydad October 3, 2017 / 7:23 pm

        We do, although it has been unseasonably warm lately. Hopefully we get good fall weather soon!

        Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 5:22 pm

      Yes, they are our favorite!

      It’s funny, my husband has a list of favorite apples. At the orchard we picked Macoun and Jonathans. He had been happy to see Paula Reds in the store a few weeks back. Then I was shopping today and saw Cortlands, which my husband also loves. I was tempted to buy some, but then realized I still have so many apples left in the sacks at home.

      Liked by 1 person

      • adkinsdomain October 3, 2017 / 5:25 pm

        Where I live we get very few good apples, and always the same two or three kinds. Even in the fall you can’t count on the apples being good. You never know what your buying. I’d love to pick really good apples sometime.

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 5:29 pm

        Hi adkinsdomain. Did you visit the link I provided in this post? It lists the orchards in many of the states in the US. Perhaps you could visit one over the weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • adkinsdomain October 3, 2017 / 5:34 pm

        The closest one is still about 2 hours away but your right, it might be a fun weekend trip sometime!

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 5:45 pm

        Perhaps if you decide to go, give them a call to confirm what they have ready to pick or buy. I’m wondering if some orchards in the lists may specialize in fruit other than apples. Or if they have apples, the dates of picking (if they allow picking) or buying availability might be different than mine in NJ.

        I remember my nephew had a summer job picking cherries in Michigan. I forget what month he worked. Cherries in NJ are long gone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • adkinsdomain October 3, 2017 / 5:46 pm

        Good point. Yeah that would be really cool! I live in Texas so not much can grow here .

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Melissa A. October 3, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    My g-daughter’s favorite type of apples to eat raw are Fuji or Gala. They are both sweet and crisp. We have many apple orchards here in Ohio to choose from. While I don’t eat raw apples, I do love fresh apple cider. So delicious! And so much better than the weak, commercially-made “apple juice” found in stores year-round. Many of the orchards here have festivities on the weekends like you mentioned. All-in-all, Autumn is by far the best season of the year. I think most people love it 🙂

    P.S. I’m going to try your Old Fashioned Apple Compote recipe; served warm, with crispies and whipped cream on top! I’ve never had compote, but it looks and sounds yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 7:14 pm

      I hope you like it, Melissa. The compote does have a sweet apple lemon cinnamon flavor juice. If you want to put whipped cream on top, I’d just pull out the apples and lemon rind with a slotted spoon and leave the juice behind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melissa A. October 3, 2017 / 7:20 pm

        Oh, okay. I had the idea that the juice was thick, because of the word ‘stewed’. In my mind, stew is thick, like gravy. Thanks for the tip!

        Liked by 1 person

      • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 7:29 pm

        Not in this case. Stewed fruit is usually just cooked in a flavored sugar water or syrup. My recipe creates more like a sugar water with the flavors of lemon, cinnamon and juices from the cooked apples. I guess if you add more sugar than the recipe it will be more syrupy, but I don’t think that’s necessary unless the apples are extremely tart.

        Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight October 3, 2017 / 7:25 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! Have a wonderful autumn season!


  5. Tuan Tran October 5, 2017 / 4:37 am

    Apple pie! Great pie all the time! Nice article for October. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tatjana Ostojic October 6, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    As an apple lover, I’ll definitely give these a try.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. updownflight September 16, 2018 / 2:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Bird Flight and commented:

    I know it is still September, but some apple varieties are already available for picking. My hubby and I will pick some today.


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