The autumn harvest is one of my favorite times. The markets are bursting with bright orange pumpkins, yellow and green winter squashes, and leeks as big as baseball bats, and apples, lots of apples. This has been a great apple year, the trees in our orchard are full of yellow, green orbs, and the wild trees lining the roadsides are heavy with fruit. My friend John Bunker from Super Chilly Farm in Palermo says that there was an “outstanding fruit set with many new varieties.”
The apple is an incredibly diverse fruit that has kept Maine people nourished for generations. I was intrigued to learn that the apple tree was hard to cultivate in Aroostook County until the Duchess of Oldenburg arrived. Imported from Russia by the Massachusetts Horticulture Society in 1835, the Duchess makes a delicious, zesty pie and creamy sauce.
We enjoy apples all year, pressed into juice and made into sparkling cider, eaten fresh out of hand, baked into custards, pies and tarts, applesauce cakes, applesauce smoothies, apples in salads and grated apples in slaw. The recipe for Apple Brownies comes from my archives and is a real crowd pleaser. I recently made a batch for the workers building the addition to our house, and there was not a crumb left!
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ pound (1 stick( butter, melted and then cooled
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 large firm-sweet apples cored, cut into ½ inch cubes (we like Honeycrisp and Jonathan)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 11 by 7 inch baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together at high speed the cooled and melted butter, sugar and egg until pale yellow. By hand, stir in the walnuts and apples until evenly coated. Add the flour mixture, and stir until combined.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until golden brown and just firm to the touch, about 45 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Cut into squares and store in a tightly sealed containers. Flavors are best one day after baking.