Fall into the season


What is the best pie apple?

Just like there are many opinions about the best chili ingredients, the best apples to use for apple pie is also a matter of personal opinion. No particular variety truly qualifies as the best pie apple but here are a few suggestions for pie success.

If you like a sweet pie, use Crispin, Golden Delicious, Jonagold. In fact, you can reduce the amount of sugar in your pie if you use these sweet varieties.

For a more tart pie with a strong apple flavor, try Cortland, Empire, Ida Red, Northern Spy, Rhode Island Greening or Rome. Many people love the classic McIntosh pie but be sure to add thickener because the tender McIntosh flesh breaks down easily.

Whatever variety you use, make sure it’s a New York-grown apple. That way you’ll be sure it is as fresh as possible, making for a delicious pie just like mom used to make!


Streusel-Topped Apple Pie
Servings: 6
1 package pie crust mix (2 crusts)
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, shredded, divided
4 cups (about 3 pounds) tart apples, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter

Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Prepare one pie crust (1/2 package) according to package directions. Work 1 cup of the Wisconsin Cheddar into crust. Roll dough and line pie plate. Place apples in pastry-lined plate, sprinkling flour and nutmeg evenly over.

To prepare topping, combine remaining package of the pie crust mix, sugar and cinnamon. Thoroughly cut in butter. Cover apples with half of topping. Sprinkle with 1 cup Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese and top with remaining topping. Bake for about 40 minutes or until aplles are tender.


Classic Apple Pie
Serves 8
6 cups of New York State apples thinly sliced & peeled
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Use your favorite piecrust whether it’s a treasured family recipe or the quick and easy refrigerated piecrusts available at the supermarket. This recipe makes a two-crust pie in a 9-inch pan.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare piecrust and place crust in pie pan, pressing firmly against sides and bottom. Trim crust even with the pan edge. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Mix lightly. Fill piecrust and place second crust over filling.

Wrap excess top crust under the bottom crust edge. Press edges together to seal and flute.

Cut slits in top crust. Cover edge of crust with strips of foil for the first 25 minutes of baking. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.


I Spy A Winner!

“Spy Apple Pie” snuck off with a prize at the New York State Fair. Fortunately, the recipe’s no longer a secret! Go ahead, reward yourself:

Spy Apple Pie
4 cups Spy apple slices
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tbsp. margarine
1/3 cup finely ground pecans
1 pkg. pie crusts

Place apple slices in plastic bowl. Measure dry ingredients into another bowl, cover and shake to mix. Put mixture over apples; add lemon juice. Cover and shake to coat with sugar mixture. Sprinkle 1/3 cup finely ground pecans in the bottom of the 9” pastry-lined pan. Fill pan with apples; dot with margarine. Vent top crust and apply over filling, flute edges. Bake at 400 for one hour, or until crust is golden brown.


History of the Jack-O-Lantern

The Irish brought the tradition of the Jack O’Lantern to America. But, the original Jack O’Lantern was not a pumpkin. The Jack O’Lantern legend goes back hundreds of years in Irish History. As the story goes, Stingy Jack was a miserable, old drunk who liked to play tricks on everyone: his family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself. One day, he tricked the Devil into climbing up an apple tree. Once the Devil climbed up the apple tree, Stingy Jack hurriedly placed crosses around the trunk of the tree. The Devil was then unable to get down the tree. Stingy Jack made the Devil promise him not to take his soul when he died. Once the devil promised not to take his soul, Stingy Jack removed the crosses and let the Devil down. Many years later, when Jack finally died, he went to the pearly gates of Heaven and was told by Saint Peter that he was too mean and too cruel and had led a miserable and worthless life on earth. He was not allowed to enter heaven. He then went down to hell and the Devil. The Devil kept his promise and would not allow him to enter hell. Now Jack was scared and had nowhere to go but to wander about forever in the darkness between heaven and hell. He asked the Devil how he could leave, as there was no light. The Devil tossed him an ember from the flames of Hell to help him light his way. Jack placed the ember in a hollowed out turnip, one of his favorite foods, which he always carried around with him whenever he could steal one. For that day onward, Stingy Jack roamed the earth without a resting place, lighting his way as he went with his “Jack O’Lantern”. 

On all Hallow’s eve, the Irish hollowed out turnips, rutabagas, gourds, potatoes and beets. They placed a light in them to ward off evil spirits and keep Stingy Jack away. These were the original Jack O’Lanterns. In the 1800’s a couple of waves of Irish immigrants came to America. The Irish immigrants quickly discovered that pumpkins were bigger and easier to carve out, so they used them for Jack O’Lanterns.

Carving tips

  • Don’t carry a pumpkin by the tip, as it can break easily.
  • When cutting the traditonal stem lid to the pumpkin, angle the knife inward to create a lip for the lid to rest on. Or you may want to try cutting a hole in the backside of the pumpkin, instead of the “traditional” stem lid. This makes it easier to light the candle inside, so as not to burn yourself. Either way, cut the hole large enough so that you can still clean out the pumpkin.
  • Scrape the pumpkin until the wall is one-inch thick, this will help if you are carving a pattern.
  • Create an indention in the bottom of the pumpkin that will hold your candle or flashlight.
  • After you are finished carving, wipe Vaseline on the cut edges to preserve your pumpkin.


Keep the ghouls haunting your streets safe

A few safety tips to make Halloween enjoyable for the whole family.

The air is crisp, orange and red leaves are falling throughout neighborhoods coating the sidewalks and streets and it’s apparent to everyone – Halloween is just around the corner! Here are a few tips for everyone to follow for a happy and safe night.


  • Make sure your gobblin eats dinner before heading out.
  • Little angels should be accompanied by a parent.
  • Set a time for older demons to check in and a final curfew time.
  • Choose costumes that fit properly and don’t drag on the ground. 
  • Aim for costumes that are flame retardant.
  • Avoid costumes that include knives, guns, or swords.
  • If your pirate insists, make sure weapons look fake and are soft and flexible.
  • Add pieces of reflective tape to costumes to increase driver visibility.
  • Inspect all candy before letting your devil eat anything. Throw away hand-made food and anything that is wrapped suspiciously.


  • Carry a small flashlight.
  • Travel in a group of three or more.
  • Carry a cell phone or change to make phone calls.
  • Wear a glow-in-the-dark watch.
  • Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes even if they don’t match your costume.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk and obey traffic patterns.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk on the left-hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
  • Walk, don’t run.
  • Only approach homes that are well-lit.
  • Do not approach or pet animals you don’t know.
  • Do not eat candy until your parents have inspected your goodies.


  • Monster-proof your house by putting away any hazardous items such as ladders, rakes, hoses or flowerpots, and cut low hanging tree limbs.
  • Keep your house well-lit.
  • If you display jack-o-lanterns, use flashlights instead of candles.
  • If you do use jack-o-lanterns with candles, move them to a far end of your porch out of the path of fairy princesses. 
  • Keep pets in another room, unable to reach the front door and scare little witches.
  • Do not serve hand-made goodies. Stick to pre-packaged candies or offer non-edible items such as pencils, erasers or plastic rings.


  • Drive slowly through neighborhoods – be on the lookout for excited clowns running across the street.
  • Many accidents can occur when backing out of the driveway, so be sure to look both ways and reverse slowly – skeletons can come out of nowhere.
  • If you can, avoid driving at all and walk among the ghosts.

Alternatives to giving the traditional candy

  • Balloons.
  • Stickers.
  • Decorative pencils and erasers.
  • Plastic rings.
  • Small fake toys, such as worms or spiders or bouncy balls.
  • Small bag of pretzels.
  • Packaged cheese and crackers, or crackers.
  • Box of raisins.
  • Party favors.

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