Macoun apples earlier this month at Easy Pickin's Orchard, Enfield, Connecticut, are now available at most New England orchards. (Russell Steven Powell)

Macoun Lovers, Rejoice!

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Macoun apples earlier this month at Easy Pickin's Orchard, Enfield, Connecticut, are now available at most New England orchards. (Russell Steven Powell)

Macoun apples earlier this month at Easy Pickin’s Orchard, Enfield, Connecticut, are now available at most New England orchards. (Russell Steven Powell)

Macoun apple (Bar Lois Weeks)

Macoun apple (Bar Lois Weeks)

MACOUN LOVERS, rejoice! Your apple has come in. This exquisitely flavored apple, the favorite fresh eating of many, is now ready for picking at New England’s apple orchards.

What makes Macoun so special? It packs the powerful sweet-tart flavor of McIntosh, one of its parents, with a firmer flesh and spiciness from its other parent, the heirloom Jersey Black. Macoun’s wine-red color (like Macs, it also has some green) and boxy shape are also inherited from Jersey Black.

To learn more about Macoun (including its correct pronunciation), watch this one-minute video:

Macoun are good cooked and now keep longer due to improved storage, but they are at their best eaten in the fall, fresh off the tree. Like all apples, Macoun should be kept cold to retain their crispness and flavor. They typically don’t last long enough for that to be a problem.

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Macoun is a good choice for a favorite recipe of ours, Apple Lemon Cake. Adapted from Olwen Woodier’s classic 1984 Apple Cookbook, our version is rich in flavor and elegant enough for any occasion. You can find it and other apple recipes in America’s Apple, our book about apple growing in the United States, told through the stories of the people who grow them.

Apple Lemon Cake

Preheat oven to 350oF. Butter and flour a 9×13-inch pan.

Grate the zest of 1 lemon, reserving 1 t for the glaze

Juice the lemon, reserving 3 T for the glaze

In large bowl, mix together:

1 c butter, melted

½ c applesauce

3 eggs

2 c sugar

3 t lemon zest

1½ c flour

1½ c whole wheat flour

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1 c pecans, chopped

3 Macoun or New England apples, cored and chopped

all but 3 T juice of lemon

Pour batter in pan. Bake 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.

While cake cools, mix together:

1 c confectioners’ sugar

2 T butter, softened

3 T reserved lemon juice

1 t lemon zest

1 T honey

Prick top of cake with fork tines.

Spread glaze over the warm cake.

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Nestrovich Fruit Farm, Granville, Massachusetts (Russell Steven Powell)

Nestrovich Fruit Farm, Granville, Massachusetts (Russell Steven Powell)

THE APPLE ORCHARD is a magical place in any season, but especially in the fall, when the trees are brimming with ripe fruit. It is a beautiful sight to behold: row after lush row of trees weighed down with apples, millions of pieces of smooth, colorful, hand-held sculptures ready to be plucked and eaten with a crisp snap, exploding with flavor, with enough juice to drip down your chin.

The orchard has something for all of the senses. With the air full of apple perfume and the trees muffling sound, it is a place for reflection and contemplation.

Nestrovich Fruit Farm, Granville, Massachusetts (Russell Steven Powell)

Nestrovich Fruit Farm, Granville, Massachusetts (Russell Steven Powell)

Like many New England orchards, Nestrovich Fruit Farm in Granville, Massachusetts, has an outstanding crop this fall.

Now is the time to visit your local orchard to experience it at its peak, while apples are still on the trees. Visit our website at newenglandapples.org and use the Orchard Finder to locate the nearest orchard to you.

Nestrovich Fruit Farm, Granville, Massachusetts (Russell Steven Powell)

Nestrovich Fruit Farm, Granville, Massachusetts (Russell Steven Powell)

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THE 2019 New England Apples wall calendar is in! It is chock full of information about the region’s best apples and orchards, including the many health benefits of this marvelous fruit.

Each month features a different apple variety and New England orchard photography by Bar Lois Weeks and Russell Steven Powell.

Calendars are $10, including shipping. To order, email info@newenglandapples.org, use PayPal, or send a check to New England Apple Association, POB 41, Hatfield, MA 01038. Discounts available on orders of six or more.

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HOW MANY WAYS are there to enjoy fresh cider? We offer four at the New England Apples booth in the Massachusetts Building at the Eastern States Exposition (“The Big E”) in West Springfield, Massachusetts:

You can take your fresh cider from Carlson Orchards in Harvard, Massachusetts, good and cold, straight up.

It’s pure apples, with no added sugars or preservatives, produced by New England Apple Products in Leominster, Massachusetts.

You can sip your fresh cider ice cold in a slushie, or its opposite, warmed in mulled cider.

Enjoying an Apple Pie Smoothie at the New England Apples booth in the Massachusetts Building at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts. (Bar Lois Weeks)

An Apple Pie Smoothie promotes togetherness at the New England Apples booth in the Massachusetts Building at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts. (Bar Lois Weeks)

You can partake of cider in an Apple Pie Smoothie, made with a whole fresh apple, spices, fresh cider, and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

We have lots of fresh apples as well from Massachusetts orchards, plus apple pies, crisp, and handpies, cider donuts, calendars, and more. We’ll be there daily through the fair’s end this Sunday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Come join us and hoist a glass of cider, however you prefer it.

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