Mid-September marks the peak of apple picking season in Ontario, with the release of a fan-favourite: Honeycrisp apples. They are typically ready mid to late September in Ontario. As the days get cooler, apple picking is an excellent way to get outside and enjoy a crisp fall day.
What Makes Honeycrisp Apples So Delicious?
The secret to the amazing burst of flavour you get when you bite into a Honeycrisp apple is the cell size. The cells are actually twice the size of regular apples, and when you bite in, the cells rupture and release delicious sweet and tart juice. It is this difference that results in the signature Honeycrisp crunch.
Honeycrisp apples were discovered in Minnesota in the 60’s and marketed as Honeycrisp in the 90’s and quickly became one of North America’s favourite varieties. They have a relatively long shelf life, and are excellent for baking and applesauce.
Characteristics of the Honeycrisp Apple:
- Yellow background, pink blush colour, with creamy white flesh inside
- The sweet, tart flavour is maintained during cooking, making the Honeycrisp apple good for baking and apple sauce
- Honeycrisp apples require cooler climates and do well in Northern States and Canada
- They are the official state fruit of Minnesota, where they were invented
- The Honeycrisp apple is popular in Canada, and is a favourite along with Gala and Ambrosia
Going Apple Picking in Ontario Means Getting the Freshest Apples Possible
Your local grocery store carries apples in the produce section. But you never know when your apples were picked, or how they will taste once you get them home. In fact, many apples are picked and stored for months before ever reaching your plate. This can result in a disappointing lack of taste, texture and crunch. We are so lucky to be close to our apple orchards, and to be able to feast on apples that are picked fresh. We should take advantage!
Apple picking is a great family activity and the start of a wonderful early fall tradition. Try bringing home a bushel for homemade applesauce and apple pies. You can put leftovers in the freezer to enjoy all winter long. In fact, you can even get a head start on your Thanksgiving baking by picking your apples in mid-September, and getting your holiday baking done early.
Try this Delicious Way to Enjoy Fresh-Picked Ontario Apples
This recipe lends itself perfectly to the crunchy texture of the Honeycrisp apple, but works just fine with any apple variety.
Thinly slice your apples and dress them up (just like you would for a cracker) for a tasty fall appetizer or movie-night snack:
- crumbled goat cheese, honey and fresh rosemary
- old cheddar cheese
- a drizzle of maple syrup and pecans
- peanut butter and raisins
- soft spreadable cheese and cranberries
- greek yogurt and rainbow sprinkles
There are so many ways to enjoy apples from Ontario apple orchards and there’s nothing like apple picking on a cool, crisp fall day. Plan to make Barrie Hill Farms your family fall tradition and go apple picking together!
Barrie Hill Farms has these apple varieties: