Apple season is underway! New Jersey orchards are busy prepping for apple picking. Starting September 5th, Demarest Farms in Hillsdale, NJ will be open Monday through Friday, from 3 to 4:30PM, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM to 4:30PM for apple picking. Home to more than 14 varieties of pick-your-own apples, Demarest Farms’ admission cost is $5 per person, and that includes hayride, corn maze, and a visit with farm animals. It’s $9 for a bag to hold apples that you can pick.
Ripple Hill Farm in Basking Ridge, NJ is another great option not far from The Madox. On Sundays during September and October they’re open to the public for pick-your-own apples. Ripple Hill Farm grows many varieties of apples throughout the harvesting season. In early September you can pick Macintosh and Gala, while Granny Smith and Stayman Winesaps are available later in the season. You can come out every few weeks to try the different varieties, as each variety has it’s own unique taste and is better for different recipes.
Once you’ve got the apples in hand, there are so many options for delicious treats that you can cook in your beautiful Madox kitchen. For apple pies you want to choose crisp apples that won’t get mushy after being in the oven for an hour. Tart varieties are key since sugar and cinnamon are big components of most recipes. Granny Smiths are most common, but mixing tart and sweet varieties makes for the best flavor. Baked apples are by far the easiest apple recipe. Just core the apple and add cinnamon, sugar and a pat of butter, and stick it in the oven. Just use a variety that will hold its shape when cooked, such as Rome Beauty, Jonathan, or Empire. For more advice on delicious apple treats for fall, check out this local article.