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Celebrate Virginia's peak apple season with a delicious baked good

Celebrate Virginia's peak apple season with a delicious baked good

If you enjoy the sweet satisfaction of biting into a juicy apple, you’re in luck—Virginia’s apple harvest peaks in October.

While pumpkins often steal the seasonal spotlight, October also is National Apple Month, and National Apple Day is marked on Oct. 21. There’s plenty to celebrate in Virginia, which is the seventh-largest apple-producing state in the U.S.

From Gala to Granny Smith, Honeycrisp to Red Delicious, and everything in between, apples are grown on almost 11,000 acres on 687 farms in Virginia. Apples contribute more than $235 million to the state’s economy each year, and local farmers produced an estimated 3.4 million bushels of apples in 2020.

A good source of fiber, vitamins C and K and a host of other antioxidants, apples are a healthy snack on their own. But, with natural flavors that range from sweet to tart, apples also shine in breads, cakes, pies and other baked goods, making them a great seasonal ingredient to enjoy during fall.

Tammy’s Apple Crumb Pie

6-7 tart apples, Gala or Winesap
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice
9ʺpie crust, pre-made or homemade
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup flour
⅓ cup butter, slightly softened

Heat oven to 350°.

Peel, core and cut each apple into 16 slices. Place apple slices in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar with allspice, then sprinkle over apple slices, coating thoroughly. Lift the apple slices from the bowl and place them into the pie shell; don’t dump them in.

In another small bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and butter, and use a pastry blender or fork to make a crumb topping. Sprinkle the topping over the pie. Bake for about an hour, or until the apples are fork tender and baked thoroughly.

Source: Chef Tammy Brawley, Real Virginia

Apple Coffee Cake

2 cups flour
1½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup brewed coffee
1½ tablespoons vanilla
2½ cups peeled, sliced apples
1 cup chopped nuts
confectioner’s sugar for topping

Heat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir in wet ingredients, and blend, then stir in apples and nuts. Pour into a greased and floured 9ʺ tube pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar, and serve.

Source: Recipe adapted from Sue Morris of Greensville County, in Bring it to the Table, the Surprising Southeast Virginia Farm Bureau Women.