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8 apple farms in Northeast Ohio to choose from right now

Cleveland, Ohio – One apple variety is unlike another or another. That’s why the Patterson Fruit Farm in Chesterland has 28 different varieties in its orchards. West Wind Farms in Madison has 19 species and Ransom Sage Farm in Chardon has about 50 species.

“Each has unique flavors, storage lengths, textures, colors and uses. We like to say there is an apple for everyone,” says sixth-generation farmer Dave Patterson.

“We have a mix of old and new varieties. Some older varieties have different tastes and uses,” he says. “Apples like Cortland and Empire, for example, don’t turn brown after cutting, and Golden Delicious pairs very well with other apples in pies. and sauces, but the new apples have incredible flavors and tend to store much better than the old ones.”

“The Macintosh is one of the oldest and most well-known of all apples, and the Wafer Crisp is our newest apple,” he says. Developed in Ohio, Patterson says EverCrisp has “great flavor” and great storage capacity.

When asked to classify the apples grown on the farm he runs with his brother Bill Patterson’s family, Dave cites the following. Of course, tastes vary from person to person. Varieties vary by farm. Another farmer will have different answers.

  • sweeter: expensive
  • tartst: rush to gold
  • Best for pancakes: Melrose and Jonagold
  • Best for sauce: Empire and Idrid
  • best to eat: Honey Crisp
  • Best for storage: EverCrisp and GoldRush

While some apples – for example the famous HoneyCrisp – are found on almost every farm, different growers may have a mix of different varieties. Ransom Sage Farm introduces a small crop of a new apple: Sweet MAIA. Developed by the Midwest Apple Development Association (MAIA) and recently available, MAIA has described it as a crunchy, sweet early-season apple with a bright, attractive red color.

Ben Sage, owner of Ransom Sage and fifth-generation farmer, says a few “secret” apples will be introduced in the coming years as the trees mature.

In addition to apple picking, farms often offer other activities. The Patterson location is located at 8765 Mulberry Road, Chesterland and offers a family fun festival through October. Admission is $6 per person Monday through Thursday, and $10 per person Friday through Sunday. At the separate market on 11414 Caves Road, visitors can enjoy a free playground, browse the bakery and gift area, and visit chickens, sheep, rabbits, and turkeys.

Ransom Sage offers more select products such as pumpkins, squash, dahlias and sunflowers all season long. Visitors are welcome to take pictures and a wedding venue is available.

Once you get home, the way to store the apples in the refrigerator is with a damp washcloth. Dehydration can be the worst thing for your apples, says Patterson.

Heather Patterson, daughter of Dave Patterson, picks a HoneyCrisp apple on a sunny September day. Her family grows 28 varieties of apples. (Courtesy of Dave Patterson)

It’s apple picking season. Below is a representation of apple farms open for picking in Northeast Ohio. Opening hours may vary by day and throughout the season. Check their websites for details on varieties, activities, and more.

Eddie’s Fruit Farm: 12079 Caves Road, Chesterland; 440-729-7842.

Heavenly Hill Farm: 18375 State Road, North Royalton; 440-537-3018

Hillcrest Orchards: 50336 Telegraph Road, Amherst; 440-965-8884

Hillside Orchard and Farm Market: 2397 Center Road, Hinckley; 330-225-4748.

Patterson Fruit Farm: 8765 Mulberry Road, Chesterland; 440-729-1964.

Quarry Hill Orchards: 8403 Mason Road, Berlin Heights; 419-588-2858

Ransom Sage Farm505 Rt44 (Center St.) Chardon, 440-479-6433

Westwind Farm: 4600 South Madison Road (Ohio 528), Madison, 440-428-0192.

apple for pie

The choice of apple pie is often based on family traditions and familiar tastes. (Photo by Paris Wolf)

recipes

So, what do you do when you pick a lot of apples? You cook and bake.

Cooking apples is different because they each have different characteristics, such as cooking, or staying in slices,” says Thomas Paulson of West Wind Farm in Madison. “We’ve found that for sauces, pies, and chips, the apple mixture works best, depending on the ripe variety. At what time.”

Ben Sage is less specific about apple pie. He suggests that you buy something that reminds you of home. “All kinds of apples work well with pies. Everyone has something to remind them of what Grandma made,” he says. “It depends on whether you like it chunky or soft. And it is important how long you cook them.”

Sage says Macintosh apples, for example, require shorter oven times while heirloom Northern Spy apples may bake for more than an hour.

To achieve my pie or sauce goals, I buy a bag of apple pie mixture at Sage’s Apple Farm in Chardonna. The bags contain a variety of apples with different flavors and textures. If you’re creating your own mix, Dave Patterson recommends Empire, Jonagold, Melrose, and Golden Delicious.

I bake in metal pie plates. I like this Because it is made in the USA. I find crust bread better in metal. Speaking of the crust, my favorite recipes are the following Julia Child dough and butter crust modifications below.

I often make applesauce as I need it. To do this, I use a mixture of apples. For canning, I am more selective. When I’m lucky early in the season, I pick a slightly tart Burgundy apple for a bright pink sauce and cook it with the skins on. Sage also recommends Jonamac, Courtland, and Macoun for the pink sauce.

I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for making the best apple pie. Email me at [email protected]

Apple pie

pie crust recipe

  • 8 ounces all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 skewers of cold butter and cubes
  • Half a cup of ice water
  • A cup of iced plain vodka

Put the flour, sugar and salt in a blender. Whisk five times to blend. Spread the cold butter over the dry mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Using the short pulses, run the mixer until the flour-butter mixture is like baby peas. Pour the water and vodka into the measuring cup, then gently sprinkle it into the processor while whisking. Continue until the dough begins to clump. Put the mixture into the mixture pancake mat which has been lightly sprinkled with flour. Squeeze the dough into a solid mass. Divide the dough in half and make two balls. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for an hour to overnight.

Apple filling recipe

Seasonal favorites, according to Patterson, include Empire, Jonagold, Melrose, and Golden Delicious.

  • 4 pounds tart apples (about 8 large), peeled, seeded, and sliced.
  • 8 ounces light brown sugar (1 cup packed)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (more if you like)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • Half a teaspoon of table salt
  • ¼ cup of quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 scrambled egg
  • Turbinado sugar or sanding sugar

Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and salt in a zip-top bag. Add apples to bag and toss to coat. Dilute at room temperature, turning bag occasionally to dispense syrup, about three hours or refrigerate for up to eight hours.

Add the tapioca to the apples, re-seal the bag, and mix together.

Flatten the bottom crust and line the pie plate. Put the apples in the prepared pie crust, and drain some of the liquid. Roll and roll the crust over the filling. Pinch to seal both peels together and trim. Brush with scrambled egg wash, sprinkle with turbinado/ sanding sugar and poke holes so steam escapes. I love to make designs.

Place the pie in the refrigerator to cool and firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Meanwhile, set oven rack to lower middle position and preheat to 400°F, and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 F and bake for 40 minutes. Cool for at least an hour.

Fresh apple sauce

  • 4 large apples, preferably
  • Half a cup of apple
  • sugar or honey (optional)
  • cinnamon (optional)

Peel and core the apple and cut it into slices. Put the apples and ½ cup of apple juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20-35 minutes, until properly set. Add sugar or honey – your choice – depends on the sweetness of the apple used. Add honey or sugar to taste. Served with a cinnamon shaker as an option.

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