Apples are a big part of the autumn festivities in the Pittsburgh region, and the traditional way of enjoying them is through recipes handed down from generation to generation, apple festivals and directly from the local farmers that grow them here. So come and enjoy the spectacular autumn scenery, crisp cool nights and boundless opportunities to sample a variety of fresh fall apples grown in the greater Pittsburgh area. It is a beautiful place to be during the fall months, and the apple recipes and sweet smells from the harvest can be easily detected in the air, especially in western Pennsylvania where apples are at their peak in September and October. Nothing could be better than crisp yellow, orange and red fall foliage and a basket full of sweet apples ready to be added to your favorite autumn recipes.
Easy Homemade Apple Cider
10 red apples, peeled and quartered
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon ground allspice
Place the quartered apples in a large stockpot and add enough water to cover the apples by at least 2 inches. Stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered, for 1 hour. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the stockpot and simmer the mixture for 2 hours. Strain the apple mixture though a fine mesh sieve until the cider is free from all solids. Drain the apple cider again though a cheese cloth lined sieve. Pour into a clean glass container and refrigerate until well chilled.
Picking fresh, crisp and sweet apples in the fall is a wonderful experience for children and adults, and when it comes to apple varieties the list is endless, but hearty favorites from Ambrosia, Cameo and Gala to Suncrisp, McIntosh, Golden Delicious and Fuji can all be located at nearby Simmons Farm in McMurray. The farm is plentiful with treats and fun things to do, so grab a pass and sample some of the most delicious cider that Pennsylvania has to offer. After warming up visitors can enjoy a nature challenge trail, pony rides, petting zoo, pumpkin picking, a corn maze and the popular one-hundred foot slide. Some of the more creative activities include an apple sling-shot and pumpkin carving. Evening bonfires, live music and hayrides are all a part of the autumn festivities, all found at one location. Fall Activities: September thru November. Cost: $13.00 includes all fall activities, a pumpkin of any size and a hayride. Hours: Open Sunday thru Friday from 9:00 am to 6:45 pm. Saturdays 9:00 am to 5:45 pm. For more information go to: http://www.simmonsfarm.com/hayridesfallactivities.html
Location: Just 15 miles south of Pittsburgh, off of Highway 19 at 170 Simmons Road, McMurray, Pennsylvania, 15317. Phone: 724-941-1490
The Taste of Fall
Pumpkins are also a big hit in western Pennsylvania due to an abundance of the colorful and tasty vegetable. They are wonderful when prepared in savory dishes, but they do well in sweeter recipes also. So, what could be more delicious than a autumn coffee treat that comes full bodied with the spicy tastes of fall flavors and blended with freshly brewed java. This warm and aromatic autumn recipe hits all of the bells and whistles that your taste buds are craving during the cooler fall months.
Homemade Autumn Spice Coffee
2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons canned pumpkinhttp://www.simmonsfarm.com/home.html
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
Garnish with whipped cream
Pour the brewed coffee and milk into a saucepan and blend over medium low heat. Whisk in the pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Simmer for ½ hour. Ladle the autumn coffee blend into festive mugs and top with the whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Priory Fine Pastries
The divine taste of autumn can be located at Pittsburgh’s Priory Fine Pastries all year long. This local favorite was voted as having the second best cupcakes in the “Burg”, and they specialize in a few other heavenly treats from pies and cookies to breads and pastries. The fresh Dutch apple pies are not only perfect for the holidays, they accent autumn in a way that no other pastry shop can. The fresh ingredients and care put into their quality products can immediately be detected by the first bite. The Priory Fine Pastries is now offering through the autumn season, a fall spiced coffee that is sure to warm up your chilled bones and transport you into a toasty and colorful frame of mind reminiscent of a beautiful autumn day.
Located at: 528 East Ohio Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212 Phone: 412-321-7270