by Lauren Romo (Madewell)
Ah, it’s autumn—the season of crisp air, soft sweaters, fall foliage and, of course, apple picking. If you haven’t made a date with your local orchard, I have to tell you: You are missing out on a quintessential autumnal experience, not to mention the freshest and most delicious apples you’ll ever taste.
Marie and me feeling psyched about McIntosh season.
For the second year in a row, I took a trip to Masker Orchards—located about 45 minutes north of New York City in Warwick, NY—with my friends (and former roommates) Brittany and Marie. We intentionally planned our trip for early October, when the McIntoshes are super ripe and the temps are pleasantly cool, but much to our surprise, the day warmed up to a balmy 80 degrees. (Too bad—I was really looking forward to wearing my Cableknit Crewneck Sweater.)
Brittany, diving right in.
When we arrived at the orchard, we were handed a few large plastic bags and a map that outlined where each sort of apple grew. Then we proceeded to hunt down and eat as much fruit as we could, free of charge (don’t worry, they encourage it). Once we had our fill, we paid for all our (uneaten) fruit and drove home.
In my case, the story didn’t stop there, though. The second I got back to my apartment with a big five-pound bag of apples, I knew what I had to do: consult a time-tested, well-loved family recipe and immediately start making one of my favorite childhood treats. So without further ado, Grandma Marlene’s Apple Cake.
Just seconds after this photo was taken, everyone at our office devoured it.
Grandma Marlene’s Apple Cake
3 cups chopped or grated apples
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped nuts
1 tablespoon soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 whole eggs
½ tablespoon salt
Mix all ingredients together by hand. (Mix will be stiff.)
Bake at 325 degrees for an hour (in loaf pan) or for 45 minutes (in muffin tin).