“Official” Taggart’s Applesauce

Available at the orchard this week: Gala, Macoun, Spartan & Cortland. 

(Empire could mature as early as this weekend – please call the orchard for the most up-to-date list of what’s ripe)

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One of the most common questions we hear at our apple stand is “What’s the best cooking apple?” Our answer is “Any apple makes for a good cooking apple”!  It’s true!

With the exception of Red Delicious, which is strictly a snacking apple, any of our varieties would work just fine in your pies, crisps, cobblers, breads and sauces.  Sure, there might be a few qualities to consider: A firmer apple will hold its shape better in a pie and a tarter apple might be a better choice in recipes with added sugar.  But don’t over think it!

In our homes, we simply use what we have on hand – more often than not it’s a mixture of varieties.  Keeping that in mind, we’d like to share the “official” Taggart applesauce method!

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  1. Gather your apples. This batch contained Gala, Macintosh, Ginger Gold, Cortland and Empire (whatever you have on hand).
  2. Peel, core and slice – no need to chop or dice!
  3. Place in a slow cooker.
  4. Heat on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

That’s it!

I prefer my sauce with a chunkier, rustic texture – I simply stir the cooked mixture with a spoon and call it a day.  Alternatively, you could use a blender for a smoother puree.  I typically keep mine sugar free but feel free to add sugar and/or cinnamon to taste.  It’s ready to eat, store in the fridge or freeze!

Enjoy!

 

 

October Apples

We have quite a selection of apples this week!

Golden (Yellow) Delicious are here!  This is popular eating apple is the sweetest variety we have at the moment.

We also have Cortland apples: tart and great for baking.  Many folks enjoy snacking on them, too.

Empire and Spartan varieties are a mix of sweet and tart.  Empire are naturally a smaller sized apple, making them perfect for lunch boxes.  Both would make great pies and sauce, too.

Empire apples

Empire apples

We are expecting Red Delicious and Jonagold to be ready this weekend, but please call ahead to check.  Apples reach their peak at slightly different times each year due to the weather.  We won’t sell them until they’re ready!

Of course, we have more 30th Anniversary photos and memories to share with you!  The doors to the apple barn in opened in 1985, and as you can see we have preserved the “historical integrity” of the structure!  Not much has changed in 30 years!

1987 | Taggart's Orchard apple barn - looks remarkably similar today!

1987 | Taggart’s Orchard apple barn – looks remarkably similar today!

Kermit and Louise Taggart operated the orchard by themselves until their daughter, Nancy, and husband John returned to the family farm in 1989. Nancy and John (Tilley) have assumed more orchard duties in recent years as they have both retired from careers in non-profit fundraising and banking, respectively.

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1989 | He may not be a Taggart by birth, but John has proven himself useful over the years 🙂

While the first Taggart apple trees were planted in 1983, we continued to add to the orchard through the 80s and early 90s.  You can see immature trees and their stakes in the background of the photo below:

1989 | Kermit and Louise pose by a new section of orchard.

1989 | Kermit and Louise pose by a new section of orchard.

Some of these trees have ended their useful life and have been removed from the orchard in recent years.  However, we are making plans to replant to continue growing and selling apples!  Stay tuned!

1987 | Katelyn, a grand-daughter of Kerm and Louise, gets her first taste of agriculture (literally!) and makes plans to run the farm one day!

Autumn has arrived!

Happy first day of fall to you all! The sun is shining this morning at the orchard and the nights are nice and cool. Perfect sleeping weather and perfect conditions for apple ripening!

We’re starting out this week with Gala and Spartan varieties. Gala, a sweet apple with unique red-orange color, and Spartan, slightly tart, are great for eating and baking. Make sure to check out our Amish-made preserves, snacks, cider and local honey, too.

apple salsa | fruit preserves | pumpkin & apple butters

apple salsa | fruit preserves | pumpkin & apple butters

Other varieties, such as Golden/Yellow Delicious, will be coming soon.  Check the website/facebook or call ahead for details.  We always appreciate a call-ahead for large orders (a bushel or more).

2015 harvest

2015 harvest

Did you know 2015 is the 30th anniversary of the Taggart’s “apple barn”?  The barn itself was constructed by Kermit and his father in the 1950s and housed Angus, rather than apples, for many years.  Kermit and Louise returned to the family farm land in 1983 and planted their first orchard.

1983: prepping the soil for the first Taggart's apple trees

1983: prepping the soil for the first Taggart’s apple trees

Apple trees require a few years to mature and bear fruit. 1985 marked the first measurable harvest, and apples were sold in the barn for the first time! Aside from new paint and minor repairs here and there, our barn is very much the same as it was 30 years ago. We’re very proud of our rustic “store front” and family farm, and hope you’ll enjoy a trip out to the country to see us soon!

1985: Kermit & Louise Taggart with their first apple crop.

1985: Kermit & Louise Taggart with their first apple crop.

We will be sharing more flashback photos throughout the season, as we celebrate 30 years of sharing our apples with you.

Happy October!

Autumn is officially here!  It’s time to embrace all things pumpkin spice, hot cider, fresh apple pie and homemade apple sauce (if you haven’t already, that is!).

Our apple barn, surrounded by fall color.

Our apple barn, surrounded by fall color.

We’ve got all your apple needs covered!  These varieties are available at the apple barn this week:

Jonagold – It’s back! Crisp, great for snacking and baking

Yellow (Golden) Delicious – juicy and sweet, a snacking favorite

Red Delicious – a beautiful apple, for snacking and salads

McIntosh – on the tart side, favored by bakers

Spartan – crisp and juicy, a McIntosh blend

Apples ripen on the tree.

Apples ripen on the tree.

Cider, local honey, jam, peanut brittle, pumpkin and apple butters are also available.

We encourage you to call ahead to inquire about up-to-date availability of your favorite variety or if interested in large quantities (bushel or more).