Ready or not, fall is just around the corner! Tis the season of flannels, pumpkins, haunted houses, spooky movies, and cozy nights around the fire.
And…apple picking season! Who doesn’t love a trip to the farm with your favorite person to hand-select a bushel (and a peck) of fresh apples?
How to Prep for Apple Picking
Before you head out to pluck that tasty fruit from their trees, we have a few things for you to consider.
What will you carry them in?
Many apple orchards will provide cardboard boxes, but if you’d like to be more environmentally friendly we have some other options for you! One is to head to a store nearby to pick up a wicker basket. You can pick from a variety of sizes, colors, and brands. This will also make your apples picture perfect. 😏
Another alternative is to use reusable grocery bags! We’d be willing to bet you have at least a few laying around your house (or in your trunk) to take with you on your adventure!
Lastly, head under your kitchen sink and grab a few of those plastic bags you’ve been squirelling away. Yeah, we know, you forgot that you’d been sticking them under there. You’re welcome. 😉
Where to Go Apple Picking around Pittsburgh, PA
If you’re wondering where to head for your apples, we have a few ideas as to where to head in Pittsburgh. Here’s a list of farms and orchards for your apple-picking perusal!
Triple B Farms – Monongahela
Soergel Orchards – Wexford
Simmons Farm – McMurray
Norman’s Orchards – Tarentum
Half Crown Hill Orchard – McDonald
How to Cook Your Apples
Now, what to DO with those apples? Sure, you can take the typical route of pies and cobblers…or you can mix the sweet fruit with some savory sausage for some delicious fall entrees that will have the whole family asking for more. Here are a few recipes we’ve tried and loved here at Uncle Charley’s!
Sausage Bake with Sauerkraut and Apples
What You Need:
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 c. apple juice
1 tbsp. vinegar
4 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 lbs. cold pack sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
2 packages Uncle Charley’s Kolbassi Griller
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. caraway seeds or to taste
What to Do:
Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large ovenproof saute pan or Dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onion and sliced sausages in vegetable oil until onion is golden and sausage is lightly browned.
Add the apples and saute for 1 minute longer.
Add apple juice, vinegar, brown sugar, sauerkraut, and pepper.
Add caraway seeds.
Cover and bake for 1 hour.
Serve with crusty rolls or biscuits and a tossed salad.
Serves up to 10 people.
Prep/Cook time: 80 mins.
Glazed Apples and Sausage
What You Need:
2 packages Uncle Charley’s Maple Breakfast Links
2 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
⅓ c. water
¼ c. packed brown sugar
What to Do:
Cook the sausages according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine apples, onion, water and brown sugar.
Cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sausage; heat through.
Serves up to 8 people.
Prep/Cook time: 25 mins.
Love this combination? Let us know where you found your apples and what you made! We’d love to hear all about it 😄