There are many reasons why I love Fall.  Cozy sweaters-sitting next to a warm fire-hayrides-pumpkins-fall foliage-and yes, APPLES!!!

Thankfully, hubby and I live only twenty minutes away from Minnesota’s APPLE capital!!!

  La Crescent, Minnesota  knows ALL about Apples.  In fact- the community just celebrated their annual FALL festival-APPLEFEST-two weekends ago.

 The four day event was jam packed with fun for all ages! There were carnival rides for the kiddo’s-and an arts and craft show, flea market, car show, and live music and street dances for the adults!

The finale of this festival is on Sunday-where you’ll have a hard time finding a parking spot or place to sit, for that matter, because everyone is gathering for one of the biggest(and best) parades, around these parts!   The King Apple parade is truly a spectacular show of entertainment-including local high school bands, royalty from other festivals, and of course, The Apple Annie’s, who are the vocal ambassador’s of this GRAND celebration of apples!!!

So why all the fuss over a fruit?

Well, because for many years, the apple has been an important part of this communities economy, but Applefest is what put La Crescent on the map!!!

Now people come from all over-just to see the breathtaking scenery up on Apple Blossom Drive, where the orchards and all their apple splendor (there were 40 of them at one time) dot the hillside, and you get a postcard view of the Mississippi River!

Unfortunately, the colors were not in their full glory the day I took the drive to the top of the hill, but it won’t be long, and you can be sure I’ll be making another trip there VERY soon!

But not just for the view.

I’m going for the apples too!

Which is always a bit overwhelming, because there are so many too choose from this time of year!!!

Jonathan– A good eating and keeping apple. Medium-sized attractive fruit, striped red with high color in spots. Flesh juicy and crisp. Flavor refreshing and tart-sweet.


McIntosh–  The fruit is a beautiful deep red color, size variable. Flesh white, firm, tender, flavor characteristically aromatic, perfumed.

Jersey Mac– Medium sized red apple with yellow/green splashes. Flesh is smooth and juicy with a tart flavor. 

Haralson– Best for pies and baked desserts. Also a great eating and cider apple. Flesh is crisp, juicy, firm. Mildly tart flavor, not acid. Holds its shape and texture in baking. Retains good flavor in keeping.


Jonagold- Large fruit striped red over bright yellow. Firm, crackling, juicy, slightly tart, flesh. Superb, rich, full flavor. Finest dessert and eating quality. Good cooking properties. 


Jonamac– Medium size, firm fruit with 90% dark red color over greenish background. Flesh firm, crisp, high quality with flavor similar to McIntosh


WealthyExcellent dessert and multi-use apple, picked a few weeks early for cooking. Beautiful fruit ripens to bright red across the surface. Crisp, juicy flesh. Refreshing, sprightly, tangy sweet flavor.



Of course-mom never has any problem choosing.  She is a firm believer that the VERY best apples this time of year are Wealthy-and she ALWAYS buys them at her favorite apple stand!

Mom and I both walked out with plenty of apples that weekend, but it sure didn’t take long for us to put them to good use!!!

French apple pie is one of hubby’s favorite fall desserts, and since he’s been such a wonderful helper this summer, (with the patience of a saint), I made one just for him!!!

So you see- apples really are something to celebrate, and that’s why I decided that for the month of September, I would put them in the SPOTLIGHT!

And since I love you all so much-I figured why not share the recipe for mom’s French Apple Pie?!

Here it is-enjoy!

French Apple Pie


      

   



               Crust: ****  I use the Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Pie Crust)


· 1-1/2 cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
· 3 cups All-purpose Flour
· 1 whole Egg
· 5 Tablespoons Cold Water
· 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
· 1 teaspoon Salt

         Filling:

· 6-8 medium apples
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon
· ½ teaspoon nutmeg

   Crumble Topping:

· ½ cup butter (one stick)
· ½ cup brown sugar
· 1 cup flour
Directions: 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
For crust: In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporatedRoll dough into a ball-and cut in half. (You can make this in advance and place in freezer bags until you need them.)  If you are ready to use immediately, let sit in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.  Place dough on floured surface and roll until it is ½ inch bigger than your pie plate.  (if dough is sticky-add more flour)  Press gently into 9” pie plate.  Crimp sides-and cut off excess dough.
Combine apples, sugar and spices.  Pour into pie shell.  Mix topping ingredients with pastry cutter.  Sprinkle over apple mixture.  Sprinkle with more cinnamon and nutmeg.  Bake for 10 minutes at 400-and 50 minutes at 350.  Serves 6.



I’ll be linking up today at the AMAZING parties-so stop on over and be inspired!!!

Blessings,

Christine 

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