apple picking in New Zealand and Maine

Apples. Love ’em. Especially this time of year. The smell of apples, fallen leaves, wearing boots and sweaters and feeling the crisp air is just lovely this time of year…the last time I had picked apples was a little over 10 years ago – in New Zealand. Now, my most recent apple picking experience – this past weekend, in Maine – was vastly different than my last apple picking experience, in New Zealand.

Michael and I visited New Zealand while on our ’round the world trip. We stayed for four months. We camped, hiked, fished, visited thrift shops, bought a car, met some amazing people and drove all over the entire country – both the North and South Islands. While there, we did what a lot of travelers do, we looked for work. We were in the middle of our year + long travel trip and wanted to keep our ‘kitty’ afloat as well as have some for when we arrived back ‘home’ – wherever that was to be…so we worked along the way. We were in New Zealand during their apple season; we had heard about the prospect of apple picking and had met quite a few people who had done apple picking themselves and made suggestions as to where to do it. So we did. (photo of a photo of our tractor while in New Zealand – each pair of pickers had their own tractor, this was ours)

We found a beautiful orchard with lovely owners and the job allowed us to live on the property (for a small weekly fee) in a one room studio. It was hard work. Up at sunrise, pick, pick, pick, drop off at sunset, eat, rest, sleep. Four weeks we picked. I gained a whole new appreciation for apples. Apple picking for profit and apple picking for pleasure are entirely different experiences…

This past weekends’ experience was for pleasure, Michael, Finn and I went apple picking.

You choose a wagon, a bag and go out into the orchard.

Pick, pick, pick till your hearts content.

We ended up with 19 pounds of apples – that’s a lot of apples – nothing compared to what Michael and I would pick on a daily basis in NZ, but a lot for three people to eat nonetheless.  Now, I know – apple pie, apple sauce, apple bread, apple crisp, baked apples, caramel apples – but there’s only so much time in my day, so I’ve decided to make pies (and freeze) and apple crisp. I have the best recipe for apple crisp. Really. I found it in a cookbook given to me by my grandmother, 12 years ago. It’s a cookbook created by and for the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary; titled, Savoring Cape Cod.

This recipe can also be used for blueberry crisp, raspberry crisp and a combination thereof. It’s quick, delicious and easy. Top with a bit of fresh creme and or vanilla ice cream and well, your in heaven…

Apple Crisp

5-6 apples (any god pie apple) – peeled and sliced. I used Cortland and Macintosh.

1 cup flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 egg, beaten

1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 9″ X 13″ baking pan.

Spread apples in pan.

Blend dry ingredients. Add egg and melted butter. Mix until dry ingredients are moistened.

Pat mixture over apples.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until top is browned.

Enjoy.