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What’s On at the Saturday Farmers Market in September

Appreciating apple abundance!

Apples growing on a tree Image: Marina Khrapova
Image: Marina Khrapova

Published on August 26, 2020

The nights are getting cooler, the sun is rising later and the goldenrod has begun painting the landscape in its bold shade of yellow; some sure signs that the sweltering days of summer are on their way out. What could be a better match for the impending crisp fall days than a freshly picked, crisp and juicy apple? At the Saturday Farmers Market, we are lucky to see an incredible variety of Ontario apples to keep our snack attacks satisfied for months to come.

Keeping Apples Over the Winter

Did you know that apples can be stored over the winter? The old school way of storing apples would be insulating them in saw dust, keeping them in a root cellar or burying them underground. We chatted with Ignacio of Reyes Farms to get some insider info as to how they keep their apples fresh and delicious all the way to next April. This is what we heard.

Reyes farm apple tree Ignacio
Ignacio and Mimi from Reyes Farms. Source: Reyes Farms

Firstly, what makes food go bad? Oxygen. We suck all the air out of the fridges we keep our fruit in. Second. Temperature. It’s vital the temperature stays at a steady 0 degrees. Some apple farmers will dunk their apples in a cold bath before putting them in the fridge to help them cool faster. It’s also important to consider that the more nutrients in the fruit, the longer it will stay fresh. We grow our fruit in rich healthy soil, which creates a more vitamin dense fruit, high in calcium. Lastly, do not mix two types of apples together. We learned this the hard way as it happened one year with Mutsu’s and Empire varieties. We are not 100% sure why they don’t get along but we suspect that different gases are released that conflict with the chemical structure of the fruits.

Thanks to these methods, market vendors are able to offer you delicious apples during the harvest season, through the winter, and even into early spring. Reyes Farms produces a bountiful variety of apples to suit all your recipes from snacking apples, to baking apples and everything in between. Find them at the Farmers Market year round.

Recipe: Quick Baked Apples

baked apple

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 large baking apples, such as Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Jonagold
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or Sucant 
  • Spice mix of ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼  cup chopped nuts of your choice (we like pecan or walnut!)
  • ¼ cup currants or chopped raisins
  • 1 tablespoon butter (alternatives: coconut oil or vegan butter)
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • Vanilla ice cream for topping

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Cut out holes in apples for stuffing:  Rinse and dry the apples. Using a sharp paring knife or an apple corer, cut out the cores, leaving the bottom 1/2 inch of the apples intact.
  • If using a paring knife, first cut out the stem area and then use a small metal spoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut the holes so that they are an inch or so wide.
  • Stuff with brown sugar, cinnamon, and extras, dot with butter: Place the brown sugar, spices, currants or chopped raisins, and nuts in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • Put the apples in a baking dish and stuff each apple with the sugar stuffing mixture. Place a dot of butter (a quarter of the tablespoon called for in the ingredient list) on top of the sugar.
  • Pour the boiling water into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 30 to 45 minutes, until the apples are cooked through and tender, but not overcooked and mushy.
  • When done, remove the apples from the oven and baste them with the juices from the pan.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.