The “Source” Report: Harvest Blend Gives Big Flavor

Mila, our produce buyer, reports on the expected flavors and varieties of the season.

One of the benefits of working at Hometown Harvest is the opportunity to try new versions of old classics. This week, I experimented with using the tart Ruby Jon apples (local and in season) in place of traditional Granny Smith apples in my favorite apple pie recipe. We usually carry so many varieties of apples because our growers need to utilize cross-pollination in their sustainable orchards, and we group together the best in our Harvest Blend bulk special. Like the Honeycrisp variety, Ruby Jons do very well in our climate, and are a fabulous alternative to the West Coast Granny Smiths.

apples, honeycrisp, ruby john

Using a blend of apples improves the flavor of any apple recipe.

Last weekend, I used 3 different types of apples to make my classic pie. Why is this important? By incorporating several different “flavors”  of apples, the final product has a more well-rounded “apple” taste than if just one variety is used, which can also cut down on the need for added sugars and over-spicing. I used Honey Crisp for their sweetness (so I could use less sugar) , Ruby Jons for their juicy crisp tartness, and Mackintosh, the classic pie apple. This combination was wonderful! To increase the healthy factor and give a nice texture, I topped my pie with an oatmeal crumble instead of a second butter crust.

apple pie

A crunchy oat topping compliments the soft, warm apples in this fall must-have pie.

This peak apple season offers us the opportunity to taste so many flavors of apples, far more than the standard, bland Red Delicious you’ll find in stores year-round. Take advantage of the local offerings and enjoy them all! The staff at Hometown Harvest sure does! 🙂


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