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Posts Tagged ‘fresh fruit’

MacounOnPlate2One would always hope that we have reasons to love where we live. As mentioned in previous posts, living in my county in New Jersey provides such simple joys in its natural beauty all year long. Similarly, I love living in the Northeast where we have the largest concentration of deciduous trees, giving us the fabulous Fall colors we love, and four distinct seasons as well. But there’s another simple pleasure …

Apples. We have apples. Beautiful red, gold, green and blushing apples. And farmstands aplenty selling them right from their own orchards. Pictured here is the apple that rose in ranks to my favorite eating apple, the Macoun. Before I’d moved to this side of the state nearly 20 years ago, I’d never heard of it, and up to that point my favorites had been Macintosh and Granny Smith. I loved the tart- sweet flavor of them both, but the Macoun topped all. It has a very specific appearance in contrast to MelicksCider2other apples, a grey “bloom” which you can see in the photo. (One might think it needs a washing, but that is the apple coloration.)

About a mile down the road from where I lived in Pattenburg was Tradition Farms. They had a small farm stand which sold produce from early summer right through Thanksgiving, and it was there I discovered the delicious Macoun. And along with that, their own apple cider which amazingly enough, tasted different each week because the farmer was pressing different apples depending upon what was ripening. I drank a lot of cider during the time I lived there! In addition to that, the farmer offered – and still does – a chart with all the varieties he grows, 32 in all, and their taste, what they’re best for, (eating, pie, sauce, salad), and what time they’d be ripening and at the stand. Want some Ida Reds for pie? Come in late September. Some Gold Rush for applesauce? They’re in in late October.

Pictured in this post are Macouns and cider from another nearby farm, Melick’s, practically an institution in this county. Their cider is also delicious and featured not only at their farm in Oldwick, but also in many local supermarkets.

MelicksAppleBaskets2

We are all fortunate to have such little pleasures around us, whether they be apples or anything that reminds us that the simplest things in life can also be an abundance of riches.

 

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For the moment we’ll forget the irony of a German Plum Cake being made with Italian prune plums; I’m guessing it’s so because they’re perfectly delicious in it! This is one of my truly favorite recipes to make. It’s surprisingly easy, absolutely delicious, (assuming you think great baking includes butter, sugar and eggs), and always comes out fabulous. What more could one want?

Above, prepped in a flash and ready to go in the oven …

I don’t know where my mom originally got the recipe, but I’ve been making it for years. Five simple ingredients in the crust, which you mix right in the pan, fresh fruit, and two ingredients on the top. Voila! The Italian prune plums are the basic recipe, but it’s easily adapted to peaches or apples with just a bit of cinnamon added to the topping sugar. ¬†In fact, I was planning to stop at the farmstand for peaches for my Labor Day dessert contribution – summer’s last hurrah – after grocery shopping, but while in the supermarket, thought to check on the plums.

Much to my surprise, there they were! I asked how long they’d be in stock. Two or three weeks tops the produce manager told me! Plums it is then.

Crumbly butter crust, sweet fruit and some good vanilla ice cream. Does it for me!

p.s. I have now added the recipe for this here.

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