Labor Day weekend here in New England means, inevitably, apple picking. The season opens for honeycrisps and ginger golds, ready or not. Some years it is still very summery and feels like going apple picking might be premature. But once you get to the orchard, even on the hottest day, there is always that Indian summer feeling. Slightly hazy, gold hued air, and a patch of grass under the gnarly tree that invites day dreaming…
The rolling hills around Harvard, Massachusetts, where we go, are also steeped in the Shaker history. With a little imagination and help of books and a map you can still walk the old village path and envision life as it was, in this rural community. My favorite is the herb drying shed, the activity so simple and universally understood centuries later. I have been influenced by the Shaker style furniture and decor for quite some time. It has almost Japanese style simplicity, but it is also firmly based in the East Coast rural way of life and the necessity and utility need in each object. But that will be subject for another post. Let’s return to the orchard for that end of the summer feel, shall we?
Almost 26 pounds of apples later, the action moves into the kitchen. Even though honeycrisps are best just for eating raw, I managed to fit in a small apple tart into the day. This was a new recipe that calls for brushing the apple with peach jam halfway through the backing and decorating it with caramelized walnuts. All and all pretty sweet, so I skipped the powdered sugar, even though it probably would have looked really good in the photo!