Apple and Pumpkin Picking at Outhouse Orchards in North Salem
Just over an hour from the city lies the ultimate apple picking experience. Outhouse Orchards is family-operated and happens to be open all year, but a visit to the orchard in the autumn is very special. I had heard about Outhouse for years but had stayed away due to stories about massive crowds. For some reason, we decided to brave it last weekend as I decided a visit was finally due.
It was the right choice. Outhouse Orchards is one of the larger orchards that we’ve been to, and it offers a unique experience.
We did indeed encounter traffic as we approached the orchard and headed into the parking lot and my husband did consider turning around. However, I convinced him that if everyone wanted to be there, surely it was worth prevailing to the last. When we finally arrived, we purchased a half bushel bag for $25 and then headed up the hill of the orchard. It was about a 10-15 minute walk. The apple trees were quite tall and so we were grateful when someone offered us their apple-picking pole to help maneuver the apples from the trees. Then we got right to it.
We all had a ball picking apples. My husband is really tall, so he managed to raise the pole quite high to get the roundest and juiciest apples. My kids had to learn to coordinate to try and get some down for themselves. Outhouse has a good selection, but Cortland apples were in abundance. We managed to get a good variety and filled our bags. Then we headed back down the hill to see what else the orchard had to offer.
We had no idea what kind of treat was awaiting us. Across the street, we headed into the food area, where they have vendors of all kinds that make their own scrumptious food including pumpkin cheesecake (out of this world!), turkey legs, pie, funnel cake (a hit in my family), BBQ, pizza, curly fries, ice cream and apple cider donuts that a zillion people were standing in line to buy.
At the market, you can also buy home made jams, jellies, fudge and cider or pick up fresh flowers direct from their farm. They also have a store that was selling Halloween items. It will turn into a Christmas store in early November and you can pick your Christmas tree too.
After we filled up on goodies, we headed toward the rest of festivities and found ourselves in an enormous pumpkin patch. You can choose from a nearby patch of picked pumpkins. Just walk the rows and you will find just the right one.
There is also an animal farm, a bouncy pumpkin ($3 each), a duck pond, a playground, corn maze and 15 minute hayrides on their green tractors.
For directions, go to the Outhouse Orchards site and head to the directions tab. They’re located in North Salem, NY.
So, now I have a bag of 50 apples waiting for me to cook up into a pie or some other type of apple dish. Below is the first apple dish I plan to make. I watched my sister-in-law make this when we were last in England and I didn’t always write down the measurements so you may have to make an estimated guess for certain ingredients.
5-6 medium size apples or 4 large ones
Splenda or sugar
4-5 oz. butter
8-10 ox. flour (you can substitute 1 oz. with oats)
8-10 oz. sugar (6 oz. white, 2-4 oz. brown sugar)
Optional: Berries, raisins, cinnamon, nuts
Here’s what you have to do:
To make the crumble:
-Boil the apples in water with sugar or splenda. Or you can microwave them for 10 minutes and add berries, raisins and cinnamon.
-Dump the butter, sugar (all 8 oz and flour into a bowl and mix with a mixer. You can add a handful of nuts.
To put it all together:
-Put the crumble on the bottom of the pan and poor the apples on top. Bake the whole thing at 300 for 30 minutes.
-Warm up before eating.
130 Hardscrabble Rd
North Salem, NY 10560
Pick your Own Apples: 9am-5pm (seasonal weekends and holidays only)
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Holly Rosen Fink has spent the last 15 years in NYC working in all facets of media, from MTV to the world of traditional and online publishing. Now working as a consultant in Westchester, she blogs about travel, theater, film, art, books, advocacy and more at The Culture Mom . She has two children, ages 5 and 7, who share her culture addiction.