Friday, 28 September 2018


another gorgeous, perfect weekend to join us in the orchard. 
we have a brilliant selection of apples for you to pick.
something for everyone!
still available are
macintosh, royal gala, silken, mcgowen, cortland, spartan and empire apples. 

we are starting to pick smoothies and blondies…
both are golden, sweet and delightful. 


smoothies are an early variety of a golden delicious that are sweet, 
crisp and juicy with a lovely creamy flesh.
 don't you just love the name? 
these are so great to eat fresh but are also excellent to use in baking.


blondies are very sweet, mellow and juicy. 
they taste a bit like a banana with hints of melon, ginger and honey.
of course they are cute and fun!
you can bake with these too. 
sadly the last windstorm snapped many trees in this orchard. 

 we have been busy picking apples all week, 
while a charm of finches sang and enjoyed the sunflowers nearby. 

we found this creation in our pumpkin patch. 
is it farm graffiti? a cairn for the fairies? 

we’ve had fun making apple pies, using 
another great recipe from judy kim.

this is her buttermilk pie dough recipe that is the bomb…easy, forgiving, and quite rich. 
 i needed a little more buttermilk than the recipe called for
 and because i am a bit impatient, i grated frozen butter into the dry ingredients
 rather than cutting cubes and sharding them. 
(thanks to my sister nancy for that tip)

 judy’s recipe for buttermilk pie dough 

yield: two 8 to 10-inch single-crust pies or one double-crust pie

developed to make more dough than your average double crust pie recipe…
very handy if you’re making a lattice or decorative pie.

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, additional for rolling
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoon sugar
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted european style butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and chilled
1/2 cup chilled buttermilk

1 in a large deep mixing bowl combine flour, salt, and sugar. bring pre-cut butter to room temperature for a few minutes and add all at once into flour mixture. toss until each piece of butter is coated. using your hands, break butter into the flour by pressing it between your index finger and thumbs while using a slow snapping or sliding motion. it will create large flattened shards of butter covered in flour. rotate through all the pieces of butter until they have all been fully flattened out and well coated. there should not be any large pieces of butter left and the mixture should look shaggy at this stage.
2 using your hands, level the flour mixture and create a slight well in the center. for even distribution use a pour spout liquid measure to drizzle small amounts of chilled buttermilk all over the center of the flour. using your hands toss mixture from the side to the top in order to keep liquid away from your hands and from touching the bowl; buttermilk should be incorporated rather than all over your hands or creating wet spots on the bowl. wait until buttermilk is fully absorbed before each addition. keep mixing with your hands and eventually squeeze the mixture together in your fist to test the consistency, it should just stick together.
3 spread a light dusting of bench flour on a clean surface and knead the dough 5 to 7 turns until it forms a ball. the dough will be slightly wet so add flour as needed to prevent sticking. don’t be afraid to knead the dough until it’s smooth and all the loose bits are incorporated. lightly coat the dough all over with flour. cut the dough in two pieces, about 1/3 and 2/3 ratio. place cut side down onto plastic wrap; tightly wrap and form smaller piece into a flattened round about 1-inch thick, ideal for the base of your pie. form the larger piece into a flattened rectangle also 1-inch thick.  sometimes i even cut the dough into equal 1/3 pieces, it’s often easier to work with smaller pieces and keep other pieces in the refrigerator. chill for one hour to rest, at minimum 20 minutes. bring dough to room temperature for a few minutes before rolling. i like to soften the edges of the dough while it’s still wrapped before rolling to prevent cracking.
4 dust surface and rolling pin with bench flour. this dough is well hydrated, so no need to be worried about adding bench flour, use when needed. roll smaller round into a circle between 1/8 to ¼-inch thickness. roll from the center outwards and lighten pressure of the rolling pin before you reach the edge, this keeps the thickness even. slightly turn pastry after each roll to prevent sticking and add bench flour when needed.  when the pastry begins to flatten out, concentrate the rolling pin movement in an upward and circular motion mimicking the curve of the dough, again lightening pressure before reaching the edge, this helps keep it round. when dough is larger than the size of your pie dish, gently fold into quarters and place inside the pie dish. ensure it is well centered and nestled into the corners without stretching to prevent shrinkage while baking. using your dominant hand, take the flat part of your upper index finger and gently press the dough into the base corners of the pie dish, while the other hand gently lifts each edge of dough to ensure it is not being stretched. 
5 for a classic crimp, trim dough ½-inch past the rim, reserving leftover pieces of dough. fold under and crimp using the thumb of your dominant hand while pushing into the index finger and thumb of your other hand forming a subtle v-shape. place pie dish and dough trimmings on rimmed sheet pan, and chill in refrigerator while you roll your second piece of dough into a rectangle. use dough to make a dough crust, long strips for a lattice or use pie cutters to create embellishment pieces. leftover trimmings from the base crust can be rolled out to be used with a pie cutter. 

i found a pressed apple blossom while looking through recipes!

i love how judy suggests making a double batch while you are in the mess. 
wrap your dough in plastic or beeswax and label it with the date for future use. 
you'll  make your next pie in half the time. 
keep dough tightly wrapped up to 5 days in the fridge
 or up to 3 months in the freezer. 
thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight.

we baked our apple pie at
 450˚ for 10 minutes, loosely covered with foil, 
and then 350˚ for about 50 more minutes, uncovered. 

and then the big question…
do you serve your pie with a slice of old cheddar cheese, or vanilla ice cream?
i grew up with cheese on my pie. mark grew up with 
ice cream on his. sometimes we do both!
see you soon!
warm autumn hugs,

Thursday, 20 September 2018

hello autumn

hello autumn!

and hello apple pie picnics.

we have a wonderful selection for you to pick, this first weekend of autumn. 
this is the beginning of the harvest for 
cortland, spartan, mcgowen, jonagold, empire and sunrise fuji apples.

 we are still picking our macintosh, silken and royal gala apples. 

 hello again to my favourite apple… cortland 

it's my favourite because the taste is so intense...
appley, with a lovely, complex blend of tart and sweet. 
 cortlands taste like autumn. as a cheese lover, cortlands are the perfect ‘cracker’ 
to use under so many good cheeses. we are so lucky to have a wonderful cheese shop close by.
you really must drop by the mill street cheese market. 
i love to bake and cortlands perform beautifully in tarts and pies especially. 
you will need a partner in crime to pick. a first date perhaps? cortlands grow in clusters of twos,
and an extra set of hands catches the one that falls beside the one you pick. 


a gorgeous sweet, mellow and very juicy dessert apple. 
spartans are an excellent apple to enjoy fresh 
and also to juice, or cook with. 
cider makers love these! 
sautéed with butter, and caramelized onions and topped with gorgonzola cheese
 is a pretty dreamy, savoury dish. 


almost a secret apple, mcgowens are sometimes called a macoun. 
their wonderful sweet and rich flavour 
along with a good crunch makes them irresistible. 
oh and such a darling little apple with freckles!  


if you love a honeycrisp you will love these too!
they are crisp, juicy and sweet!
they are also a terrific apple to bake with. 


empires are such a brilliant apple…the best of a macintosh and red delicious.  
you can use these in every apple recipe you can think of. 
they transport well, so you can tuck one in your lunch box!
the perfect wholesome snack.

sunrise fuji 

our baby trees have done exceptionally well this year.  
an early ripening fuji variety, they are sweet, mild and juicy with a lovely crunch. 
sunrise fujis are excellent for drying and juicing and also a fantastic storing apple too. 

welcome autumn!
and this perfect apple picking weather! 
i think it’s time to dig out our favourite apple recipes. 
hello galettes, tarts, cakes, pies, sauces...
see you soon! 

Thursday, 13 September 2018

they’re ready…
our much anticipated honeycrisp apples are perfect for picking this weekend! 
our royal gala, silken and honeygold apples are too. 
they are all marvelous apples to enjoy right from the tree!

we are still picking our classic macs and sweet gingergold apples.
sadly, our pears are all picked out.


so renowned…do they even need an introduction? 
crisp and sweet indeed! they are appropriately named! 
honeycrisps are exceptionally juicy too…so thirst quenching!
we do have a lovely crop to share, but because they are so sought after,
 this will probably be the only weekend to offer them. 

royal gala

another sweet, juicy apple that everyone loves! 
they are the pinkest and prettiest on the farm! and fragrant too! 
their darling smaller size makes them perfect for lunches . 


   a gorgeous sweet and juicy apple without the tartness. 
honeygolds are similar to a golden delicious with more of a crunch. 
 i love the little freckles! (they are actually called lenticels.) 
we are using honeygolds  for our candy apples this weekend.


the daughter of a sunrise and a honeygold, 
silkens are sweet with a hint of honey flavour. 
originally from the okanagan valley…now in the credit river valley! 
another perfect snacking apple for little hands and tummies.

we are always trying new apple recipes at home. 
this winter i fell in love with cardamom. 
i have outgrown cinnamon...i say we broke up.
cardamom is perfumey, citrusy and warm. 
it brilliantly compliments the complex flavours of apples
with its lovely, almost other worldly, mature flavour. 
we have it in our pie room this year if you would like to try making a pie with it. 

here is a link to a fabulous recipe for 
this gal is so talented and inspiring.
attending one of her pie workshops is on my bucket list. 
maybe we can convince her to visit our farm. 

see you soon
warm hugs 

the bonus track...a peek at the blossoms...
isn't it marvellous how each variety is subtly different?


royal gala



Friday, 7 September 2018

oh it is so nice to be open again!
that certainly was a short and sweet (and hot!) week.
 did anyone bring an apple to their teacher? you still can!

macintosh, gravenstein and ginger gold apples 
are perfect for picking this weekend. 
our bartlett pears are still available. 

when you visit us you have a chance to sample them all!

we have pressed our own apple cider for you! 
this first early blend is like no other.

enjoy a cup down at our dreamy wee river cottage, 
or take a jug home.

i can't remember where i found this recipe, 
but it is simple and different and delicious... 

apple and pear jam with vanilla 

the easiest recipe ever…
only 4 ingredients
1 kg of peeled, cored and sliced apples and pears.
 this is about 4 1/2 cups combined, half and half ish.
 i used more pears than apples the first time. 
750 grams of sugar.. about 3 1/4 cups 
1 vanilla bean 

combine the fruit and sugar in a heavy pot.
slice the vanilla bean length wise and scrape out the seeds and paste.
add this to the pot.
if you have a sugar jar, put the vanilla bean 
in your sugar to impart a lovely flavour. 
cook on low for 45 ish minutes…stirring often so the fruit 
doesn't stick to the bottom. the fruit will become soft. 

mash the fruit with a potato masher to get the desired consistency. 
you could blend it with a hand blender if you like it smooth. 
spoon into sterilized jars.

this is really lovely spooned over a nice stilton cheese.
or on toast, or swirled in yoghurt. 
you will find the perfect pairing. pearing?

we are still loving our new farm family…

we are looking forward to seeing you this weekend
 and we welcome the cooler weather!

warm hugs 


i thought you may want to see what the blossoms looked like.
i love how each variety of apple and pear has a delicate, different blossom… 



ginger gold  

bartlett pear