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Cider and Cheese with Sapsucker and Redhead. Prime time fall edition!

Well, fall is my favorite time of the year, perhaps because it is so short. I relish every moment of it! I ride my bike everyday (when it is warm enough) on Woodland Trails from Elk River to Zimmerman and back. I pass by an Apple Orchard on this route, and perhaps because of the current warm temps warming them up, the aroma of the apples is intense.

This brings me back to my childhood. Every fall we would go pick apples at Connell Orchard in Wisconsin and then to Cady Cheese for fresh curds. Enjoy our lunch, usually from the back of the van (the van is another story...) of curds and apples.

Connell Orchard is now gone, but not without a legacy. Connell Red apples came from there and THE BEST apple crisp recipe also heralded from there! Margie Connell's Apple Crisp. The orchard would load up school busses and take us out to the orchard to pick our own. They also would fresh press into cider. And if we were lucky, mom would buy us some of the cider too. On select days they would have a pie social and you got to choose between ice cream or cheddar cheese for your topping!

Here are today's pairings and at the end of this post is Margie Connell's Apple Crisp recipe. I know it by heart.

  1. Coffee Cider with Little Lucy

  2. Juicy Apple Cider with Margie

  3. Ginger Cider with Henri's Havarti and Isadore Chai Spiced Pecans

  4. Apple Pie Cider with Northfork and Bischoff

  5. Barrel Aged Cider with St. Anthony

  6. Cayenne and Pineapple Ciders with Red Temper

Margie Connell's Apple Crisp:

  1. Peel and slice 20-25 baking apples into salt water. These days, this is too many apples, so I just slice enough to fill a 9x13 pan about 2/3 full. Early in the season: Zestar, State Fair. Other ones I like: Paula Red, Harrelson, Beacon mixed with other sour apples. Deer apples work too.

  2. Using a pastry blender, a food processor or a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, blend together 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups flour.

  3. Drain sliced apples and pour into pan. Sprinkle with a cup of sugar and a bit of cinnamon.

  4. Loosely spread sugar/butter/flour mixture over. Do not pat down

  5. Bake at 350 (recipe says 425, but I like it more caramelized) until brown and bubbly. Maybe an hour.

Yes, this is called baking from the hip. Created over time like our grandmas...hard to explain, you just do.

Hope you love as much as we do!

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