In recent years, it seems fall has become all about pumpkin spice. But don't limit yourself to one fall flavor, because, autumn and apples also go hand in hand.
Pick a Peck
What's autumn without a trip to the orchard? The whole family can enjoy a day picking apples at one of the Show-Me State's U-pick locations. Missouri orchards grow many different apple varieties, including Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Jonathon, Jonagold, Winesap, Gala, Granny Smith and more. You're sure to find a favorite!
An Apple (Treat) a Day
Freshly picked apples make a great snack, but they're also an essential ingredient in some amazing sweet treats. Peter's Orchards in Waverly has an apple cider donut you don't want to miss. The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery in Kimmswick is famous for its Levee High Caramel Pecan Apple Pie – each towering creation is packed with 18 apples. At A Slice of Pie in Rolla the American Apple Pie is topped with a tasty cinnamon sauce. Try an apple fritter at Donut Drive-In, a Route 66 classic in St. Louis, or Hurts Donut near Springfield's historic Park Central Square.
Rich, sweet caramel is the perfect complement to a crisp, tangy apple. The Candy Factory in Columbia offers a signature fall treat from late August through Halloween: apples coated in made-from-scratch caramel. And for a giant-size appetite, try Farmington's Sweetheart Chocolates for a HUGE (more than a pound!) caramel apple, handmade every week, year-round. For this tasty combination in ice cream form, sample the caramel apple flavor at the Ice Cream Factory in Jefferson City and Eldon.
Potent Apple Potables
Almost every apple orchard in the state offers fresh cider – but if you like yours with a kick, check out Brick River Cider in St. Louis for hard cider that runs from traditional to innovative. Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling in Ste. Genevieve offers a wide variety of hard apple ciders enhanced with everything from lemonade to blackberries.
Pirtle Winery in Weston features a semi-dry wine made from freshly pressed Honeycrisp apples that pairs great with barbecue. Make a visit to St. James Winery an annual event to pick up their seasonal Apple Pie wine; sweet with a hint of cinnamon, it's just like apple pie in a bottle.
Written by Barb Brueggeman