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Wild Apple Crisp


Taking a walk along the Trolley Trail that stretches from Clarks Summit to Dalton, PA, Julian and I came across a remnant apple tree from a long gone orchard. The apples were partly red and smelled delicious so we took a bite. (Uh, oh. Shades of Eden.) They were sweet, juicy and gently tart so we picked a few. With them, I made apple crisp as follows below.

But first, let Mr. Henry David Thoreau speak a word for wild apples:

“To appreciate the wild and sharp flavors of these October fruits, it is necessary that you be breathing the sharp October or November air. The outdoor air and exercise which the walker gets give a different tone to his palate, and he craves a fruit that the sedentary would call harsh and crabbed. They must be eaten in the fields, when your system is all aglow with exercise, when the frosty weather nips your fingers, the wind rattles the bare boughs or rustles the few remaining leaves, and the jay is heard screaming around. what is sour in the house a bracing walk makes sweet. Some of these apples might be labeled, ‘To be eaten in the wind.’

“Let your condiments be in the condition of your senses. To appreciate the flavor of these wild apples requires vigorous and healthy senses, papillae firm and erect on the tongue and palate, not easily flattened and tamed.

“What a healthy out-of-door appetite it takes to relish the apple of life, the apple of the world, then!

“So there is one thought for the field, another for the house. I would have my thoughts, like wild apples, to be food for walkers, and will not warrant them to be palatable, if tasted in the house.”

(Excerpted from Wild Apples by Henry David Thoreau, first published in The Atlantic Monthly 1862)

Wild Apple Crisp:
Made with wild apples from a wild apple tree, a relic of a long-gone orchard that I came across when walking in the woods in Scranton, PA

Place 4 cups sliced all apples in buttered pan.
Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ cup water.
With fingers, rub together ¾ cup flour, 1 cup sugar, ½ cup butter. Drop over apples.
Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serve warm with cream.

(Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book)

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published September 25, 2015

Photos to enlarge

Wild apples-delicious

The remnant apple tree

Mary picking wild apples. Julian Sparacino photo

The bloom's not only on the rose; it's on the wild apple, too.

Yummy! Sweet and gently tart wild apple crisp

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