Why you need to visit Chudleigh's Apple Farm this autumn
It's not the end of summer yet, but after Labour Day I'm thinking about the fall. Truthfully it's my favourite time of year. The air is crisp, the colours come alive and there's nothing I enjoy more than spending time outdoors.
If you live in or near Toronto or if you’re visiting and have already worked your way through my Toronto travel guide, then consider spending a day on an apple farm where you can pick your own apples.
Chudleigh's Apple Farm was where I made my foray into apple picking. The season usually runs mid-August until mid-October. I went in October, at the end of the season, with a group of friends and some kids. Everyone had a great time, so prepare to unleash your inner kid and get some Insta-worthy shots too.
Here's some of the fun things we did at Chudleigh's.
The Chudleigh’s Apple Farm Experience
Pick Your Favourite apples
OK, this is obvious, but the farm has more than just apple picking so it needed to be called out. Before filling your bags you can sample different varieties of apples. Once you've chosen your favourite, head over to the tractor which takes you out to the orchards.
Depending on when you visit during the season, certain varieties will be available. Some are sweet, others tarte, some are good for baking while others are better eaten fresh. I was a personal fan of the Fuji apples. They were sweet and I also liked the name, Fuji. It's Japanese and therefore cool.
Who needs Whole Foods? it just doesn't get more local and seasonal than this.
Have some corn ON THE COB and apple blossoms
Just like any good-old-fashioned farm they served up some amazing corn on the cob. You can see the charred corn on the grill. Get it piping hot, it makes a perfect snack.
They’re also famous for the Chudleigh’s apple blossom. A dessert that’s similar to a mini apple pie. I wish I had a picture for you, but let's just say, they didn't last long. You can buy their apple blossoms and pies at Chudleigh’s bakery.
My friend Dan has a great family recipe for apple blossoms which is included towards the end of this post.
Take a walk through the NATURE TRAIL
Towards the end of the apple orchards is a wooded area where you can go for a walk. If you time your visit during the changing of the leaves you can take in the great fall folliage and have fun with your photography.
Feed the goats & Get Lost in the Hay Maze
OK, I'm going to start by saying I'm not fans of petting zoos, or animal enclosures in general. Chudleighs does have a bunch of farm animals, and you can buy pellets to feed them. The animals look healthy and happy, the kids are thrilled so I'm not going to complain. I bought a few pellets, fed the goats, it was slimy but the goat seemed thankful.
There's also a full activities area for the kids, including a massive slide and hay maze. If you're taller than about 5'5 it's easy to look over the top of the maze, but that’s considered cheating right?
RECIPES FOR ALL YOUR APPLES
So now you've got freshly picked apples. What do you do with them?
Lucky for you I've got two friends that have just the answer for you!
Recipe 1 - Apple Blossoms
from Dan Hutchinson
My first friend, Dan, is from Toronto, and he's sharing a recipe for apple blossoms. I have to give credit to Dan, he's probably the greatest baker I know. Why? Because Dan believes in full fat butter, so I believe in him.
The food photos below are from Dan and show his process. The apple blossoms are based on a dough recipe passed down from his mom and his own experience perfecting it.
Step 1 - Make the galette dough
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled
1/4 cup ice water
Blend dry ingredients together with pastry cutter. Add in water. Knead slightly. Shape in to a disk, wrap it up and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2 - Make the apple filling
about three apples (ideally crisp, slightly tart apples like: Macintosh, Cortland or Northern Spy)
butter for the sauté
brown sugar - as much as you want for desired sweetness, roughly 1/4 cup
Spice mix: 2 tsp of cinnamon, 2 tsp of nutmeg and a few cloves
Peel and finely cube apples. Sauté in a pan with butter, brown sugar and spices till apples are softened a little.
Step 3 - Build the apple blossom
Roll the dough and cut in to 5-6” circles. Layer on the filling & wrap up the edges. Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 min or golden brown. Serve on fancy chinaware.
Recipe 2 - Vegan Apple Crisp
From Shelly Reiter
My second recipe is for vegan apple crisp and it comes from my childhood friend Shelly. She’s my go-to for vegan meal inspirations. Now I know that all my food write-ups are far from being vegan friendly, but when I'm at home I actually try to incorporate it into my diet as much as possible.
Shelly has vegan recipes that are not only good for you but taste good too. Her vegan food blog, Simply Shelly, is great for yummy vegan dishes.
Check out her recipe for vegan apple crisp on Simply Shelly.
Chudleigh’s Apple Farm Directions, Hours & ADMISSION COST
Chudleigh’s Hours (2018)
Monday – 10am-5pm
$15.00 Per Person
$12.00 Per Additional/Seniors
$52.00 Per Family of 4
Children 3 and under are free.
Cost for apples is extra.