A couple of weeks ago we took the boys and a friend to Hendersonville, NC for apple picking. After asking around and doing a little research, I chose an orchard mainly because this one had a lot of activities for the boys. We got up there around 3 (most orchards close at 6). After 1.5 hours of the boys playing and me taking tons of photos, we decided it was time to pick some apples. As we walked towards the orchard I noticed a sign that said “NO U PICK” and since I’m not an expert on signs at orchards I assumed it meant that section was not available for picking. WRONG! I asked an employee about picking for apples and they told me they were picked out for the season. Panic started to sink in. I had hyped this trip to the boys for a week – “What are we doing Saturday??” “Apple picking and pumpkin picking!!” My son’s best friend came along and his mom and I had been talking about it for a few days. I wanted to get the photos of the boys picking apples from the tree. Sure, I could mimic the action but it wouldn’t be the same. I would know. Also, I wanted to make my first apple tart using apples that I had picked. Ugh, my happy thoughts and plans were going down the drain.
As we were driving to the orchard, I noticed there was other ones so I thought maybe we could head to one of those. But I also feared they may be out of U PICK apples as well. I quickly pulled up the map app on my phone, typed in “orchard” and called the first one that popped up.
I spoke to a really nice gentleman and he told me they still had plenty of apples “Mutsu! Jonagold! Fuji! Early Fiji!…” I was half-listening because my only care was they had apples. I asked him what time they closed and he said at 6 but usually stop allowing people to pick after 5:30 since it starts to get dark. By this time it was 4:40. We still needed time to get there and pick apples.
So I rushed the boys into the car as they shouted (looking very confused),“But what about the pumpkins?!” to which I replied, “We’ll get them at the grocery store! Hurry!”
We pull up to the second orchard (with plenty of time to spare) and proceeded to the apples!
Of course children being children, they wanted to do the activities but I told them first we pick then we play.
After our basket was filled with red and green apples (that’s how I identify them), we checked out the rest of the farm. There was a pond filled with ducks and catfish which we all enjoyed feeding. Further up, closer to the house, there were other animals to feed.
After my mini panic attack, it turned out to be a really great day. I hope to do it again. Maybe not every year but we created a memory and I was able to check another item off my “Things to do in the Fall” list that has made it across Pinterest (you know the Basic in you gets it).
Ok, on to the apple tart. I’ve wanted to make one for quite some time and for some reason, I felt intimidated. I’ve made plenty of pies in the past but I always stayed away from making a tart. Very silly. Making an apple tart should be a step on to the way to making an apple pie. It’s much easier and less stressful. You don’t need as much dough since you fold it over the apples, there’s less worry about rolling out the dough wide enough to cover the pie dish, and you can just place the apples in any way you’d like. You can get a little fancy with the apple slices but it’s not necessary.
This is also the first time I made dough using a food processor. LIFE CHANGING. Cheers to friends who pass on appliances they are no longer using. This food processor will hold me over until I get my Kitchen Aid for Christmas – speak it into existence!
Rustic Apple Tart
For the Dough
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter (I usually use salted and skip adding more salt)
1/2 cup ice water
Preheat your oven to 400. Add dough and sugar to food processor and pulse the ingredients together. Next, add the butter and continue to pulse. I repeat: Continue. To. Pulse.
Once I added the butter I did not continue to pulse and just let the processor do its thing. Not a huge issue but the dough came together so quickly I didn’t have a chance to add the water causing me to have to place the dough in the fridge for a while to get a little colder (and easier to handle).
While the dough was getting chilled, I made the filling
6 medium sized apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about to 12-16 inches wide, depends on how thick you want it.). Place the apple filling in the middle then fold over the dough. Next, transfer the tart to a parchment-lined baking sheet (or use a cast iron, like yours truly). Brush with melted butter and sprinkle sugar over the tart.
Bake for an hour or until apples are tender. You can cover the tart with aluminum foil to help keep the heat in but since I didn’t have any, I went without and continued to check on it. Halfway through I did cover the cast iron with a lid because the apples were browning pretty quickly.