Posts tagged apple
Lemon Poppy Seed Salad with Apples and Feta
I love it when I make a salad and my husband goes back for seconds. That is how I can tell if its a winner or not. I actually made this salad as a side for a meal we were having. But it was so good and so filling that neither of us were hungry after we ate it! Its sweet and crunchy, with nice salty notes from the feta. I'm certain you will enjoy it. 

For the salad: 
1 head romaine lettuce
1 apple, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup cashews, lightly toasted

For the dressing: 
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 cup water
juice of 1/2 of lemon
zest of 1/2 of lemon
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lavender sea salt 

Wash and chop your lettuce, roast your nuts, slice your apple, assemble your salad ingredients. Wisk all your dressing ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved and the ingredients have combined. Pour over your lettuce and you are all set to go. I like to slice the other half of my lemon and add lemon wedges to the salad as well for a garnish for those that like things extra tart. 

This turned out to be a beautiful summer salad. Not only is it colorful, but its sweet and savory at the same time. That is such a winning combination. Enjoy!

Caring for your apple trees, part 2
Ok, time to finish up our 2 part post regarding caring for your apple trees. Our vintage trees here are the farm are obviously very old and set in their ways. But when you are first starting out or have younger trees, its ideal to do some apple tree training with them. 

What is apple tree training? You simply tie the branches together to help the tree keep its shape and maintain good health. The practice of training an apple tree actually takes many years. A caregiver should look at an apple tree's trunk then try to create an arrangement of limbs (growing outward from the trunk) that have plenty of room to expand. Many farmers train their apple trees so that the branches are longer on the bottom and shorter at the top of the tree. This makes sure each and every branch is able to receive sunlight. As an added benefit, this adds to the beauty of the tree as well. 

One other item to consider when you are growing apple trees is making sure you keep an eye out for any diseases that can effect your orchard. We have been lucky to escape any problems like this over the years.  Sometimes mildew can form on the leaves of an apple tree. This mildew looks like a white powder on the leaves. This happens when an apple tree is exposed to too much dampness or humidity. Proper pruning as discussed in our prior post can help in the prevention this. Apple scab is another disease we've heard can effect your apple crop. The disease gets its name because of the scabs that are often discovered on the surface of the apples themselves. Dark spots also appear on the tree's leaves. Once again, areas with a lot of dampness can contribute to the development of this disease. As long as your trees get ample light and sunshine, you should be protected from this problem.

Finally you will reach the harvest. Its the best part. We wait to harvest our apples until after the first frost of the fall. Ripe apples have a firm exterior as well as a crisp texture. You may be tempted to harvest as soon as you see apples begin to fall to the ground, but you will want to wait. Fallen apples that are rotting should be cleared away so they don't attract bugs or other animals. Once you harvest your apples, you will want to store them in a cool dry spot. We love pressing ours into cider and of course making all sorts of pies and treats. We look forward to sharing many recipes with you here when harvest time comes! 

Apple Walnut Salad with Dried Cranberries
Tonight I made a delicious salad that features two of our favorite Lavender Apple farm products! Lavender Honey and our farm pressed apple juice. It was sweet, savory, and a easy to put together. 

For the salad:
4 ounces fresh spinach
1 red apple, sliced
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries 

For the dressing:
1/2 cup apple juice
1/8 cup vegetable oil 
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lavender honey (plain honey will also work, but why use that when lavender honey exists!) 
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Mix the dressing together, combine salad ingredients, pour dressing over salad and serve immediately. Makes enough salad for 4. 

Its always wonderful to have a hearty goat cheese salad when we are all working so hard on our new years resolutions. The winter cranberries and autumn apples make this a wonderful treat for lunch or a great side at dinner. 

World's BEST Caramel Sauce (with a Peggy-twist)
Since we moved to an apple farm/orchard with over 50 trees full of delicious vintage apples I have been looking high and low for a good caramel dipping sauce recipe.  Well, the search is over.  Here it is.  If it is not THE best caramel sauce you've ever had, then... something is wrong with your taste buds. 
*just kidding - kindof* ;)

C a r a m e l   S a u c e 
(with a little peggy twist) 

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon culinary lavender (peggy-twist)

PEGGY-TWIST (YUM!): Steep lavender in whipping cream. 

How to steep lavender: 
in a medium saucepan bring whipping cream and lavender to a slow boil over medium-high heat; stirring constantly.  Remove from stove and separate lavender from the whipping cream, with a fine strainer, picture below. (it's ok if a couple of lavender buds slip through).


ORIGINAL RECIPE: Bring the above ingredients to boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week.  To reheat, microwave at HIGH 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm; stir until smooth.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

pic1: the cream and lavender (after steeping), pic2: adding butter and brown sugar 
pic3: as all the ingredients are melting
Above picture: lavender being separated from cream after being steeped
(basically, this is how the cream takes on the lavender flavor)

*Recipe courtesy of Southern Living