Mutsu apple at Mack's Apples, Londonderry, New Hampshire (Russell Steven Powell)

Pies, Brownies, and Late-Season Apple Gold

Russell Powell New England apple varieties, Recipes Leave a Comment

Apple brownies sweetened with maple syrup. Above: A Mutsu ripens on a tree at Mack's Orchard, Londonderry, New Hampshire, in September. (Russell Steven Powell)

Apple brownies sweetened with maple syrup. Above: A Mutsu ripens on a tree at Mack’s Orchard, Londonderry, New Hampshire, in September. (Russell Steven Powell)

Kayleigh Shangle and Kevin Weeks admire these Mutsus from Pine Hill Orchards, Colrain, Massachusetts, in the New England Apple Association booth in the Massachusetts Building at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. (Bar Lois Weeks)

Kayleigh Shangle and Kevin Weeks admire these Mutsu apples from Pine Hill Orchards, Colrain, Massachusetts, in the New England Apple Association booth in the Massachusetts Building at the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E)  in West Springfield.       (Bar Lois Weeks)

WITH FROST expected over most of the region over the next few days, the fresh apple harvest is likely headed for an abrupt end.

Fortunately, the bins and storage rooms are nearly full, and while some apples may be left on the trees, there will be plenty available at the orchard, farm stands, and in stores throughout fall and winter and well into spring.

Advanced techniques like controlled atmosphere (CA) storage ensure that New England apples remain crisp and flavorful throughout the seasons — even McIntosh, which did not store well a generation ago.

Golden Delicious apples, September, Norton Bros. Fruit Farm, Cheshire, Connecticut. (Bar Lois Weeks)

The key is to keep apples cold after they leave the storage room — at the grocery store and at home. A bowl of apples on the counter is a beautiful sight and an easy snack. But put the fruit in the refrigerator at night to keep it firm and crisp.

Golden Delicious apples Butternut Farm, Farmington, New Hampshire (Russell Steven Powell)

Golden Delicious apples at Butternut Farm, Farmington, New Hampshire, a week ago. (Russell Steven Powell)

For now, there are still late-season varieties to enjoy fresh off the tree, including two yellow apples, Golden Delicious and Mutsu (also known as Crispin). Both are large, sweet apples that are good for fresh eating and that excel in baking, where their rich flavor, good size, and ability to hold their shape when cooked make for an outstanding pie.

To learn more about best uses and history of these two varieties, watch these one-minute videos:

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Mutsu apple at DeMerritt Hill Farm, Lee, New Hampshire. (Russell Steven Powell)

A lone Mutsu apple stands out among the foliage at DeMerritt Hill Farm in Lee, New Hampshire, last week. (Russell Steven Powell)

THESE MAY BE the best apple brownies we have ever had! Hackett’s Orchard in South Hero, Vermont, sent us this recipe (look for their Glazed Apple Cookies recipe later this fall).

The moist, cake-like texture and chunks of apple in these brownies are satisfying to the palate and bursting with flavor. We had no Golden Delicious or Mutsu on hand so used Empire apples instead. We made a few modifications to the original recipe, notably using half whole wheat flour and substituting a local agricultural product, maple syrup, for white sugar.

These Apple Brownies came from the Larrow family, the orchard’s original owners before Ron and Celia Hackett purchased it in 1967. The recipe may be more than 75 years old.

At first bite, it is clear why they have stood the test of time.

Apple Brownies

1 c flour

1 c whole wheat flour

2 t baking powder

1 t salt

1 t cinnamon

1¼ c maple syrup

2 eggs, beaten

¾ c butter, melted

1 t vanilla

1 c chopped walnuts (optional)

4 New England apples, cored and chopped into small pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9×13 pan.

Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

Add beaten eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.

Stir in apples and nuts.

Turn batter into pan.

Bake 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes clean.

Late-season Golden Delicious apples ready for picking at Brackett's Orchard, Limington, Maine. (Bar Lois Weeks)

Late-season Golden Delicious apples ready for picking at Brackett’s Orchard, Limington, Maine. (Bar Lois Weeks)

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These are the frozen apple pies for sale, fresh baked out of the oven at The Big E in September. (Bar Lois Weeks)

Apple pies fresh out of the oven at the New England Apples booth in the Massachusetts Building at       The Big E. (Bar Lois Weeks)

LOOKING FOR a great ready-made apple pie? We still have some delicious frozen, five-inch, single-serving pies made by Marge Cook and her son, Sim, for our booth at the Big E. Bake them 40-45 minutes at 375°F or until the crust is golden and the apples are soft.

These are our biggest sellers at the fair, for good reason. Marge and Sim have been making them for the fair for nearly 20 years, and their flaky top crust is a perfect complement to the apples inside.

We have a limited supply, at bargain prices:

24 (one box) for $84

12 for $42

6 for $21 (minimum order)

Email your order to: info@newenglandapples.org.

Golden Delicious apples at Boothby's Orchard, Livermore, Maine (Bar Lois Weeks)

Golden Delicious apples at Boothby’s Orchard, Livermore, Maine. (Bar Lois Weeks)

 

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