Saturday, 27 September 2014


so flavourful and opulent,
we have just started to pick...


sometimes called macoun, mcgowens are a honey sweet rich apple with hints of berry.
they are super crisp and juicy. goodbye honey crisp!
mcgowens are a cross of a mac and a jersey black.
 creamy tender white flesh makes them an excellent choice for sauce.


spartans are fabulous…. sweet, mellow and juicy. 
 the merlot of apples! everyone loves them! they are a cross of a mac and newton. 
a brilliant all purpose apple…often used in cider and also terrific for apple sauce and baking.

we still have macintosh and cortlands available for picking,
 and we also have them picked for you in our farm market.

  the leaves in the valley have just started to change.
 the farm is unbelievably picturesque at this time of year. don’t forget your camera!

farm hugs,

Friday, 26 September 2014


haven’t these first days of autumn been brilliant? 

gorgeous and perfect for picking this week ….


a fabulous mellow, juicy, crisp apple that is sweet with a hint of tartness.
it’s smaller size makes snowdan terrific for snacking...and perfect for little hands!
 they sauté nicely for a beautiful warm salad, and are great for baking too!


another  sweet apple with a beautiful balance of tartness,
 they are lovely out of hand, in salads and wonderful for baking.
jonagolds are a cross of a jonathan and golden delicious.
 they are quite juicy, firm and crisp. 

we are still picking our macintosh and cortlands. 
have you tried the autumn fruit crisp recipe yet?(have a peek at the previous post)
you really must! 

and how adorable is this wee snail?
we found her on a macintosh this morning! slow food….i love it!

warm farm hugs,

carl laidlaw orchards

Monday, 22 September 2014

welcome autumn

hello autumn and hello autumn fruit crisp

this is one of our favourite desserts and we make it often.
we love the way the flavours change depending on which variety of apples we use.
this calls for both apples and pears…i used all apples today.
cortlands are my favourite and we just started picking them.

autumn fruit crisp

8 cups of sliced apples, peeled and cored
 (cortlands, spartans, mutsus, goldens, ida reds, spys)
4 cups of sliced pears, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour 
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/3 cup of our apple blossom honey or other liquid honey

1 cup of flour
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of oats
3/4 cup of butter
1/2 cup of chopped almonds or hazelnuts

preheat oven to 350°f 
butter a 9 x 13 inch dish
toss apples, pears and lemon juice in a bowl.
use 12 cups of apples if you are omitting the pears. 
in a separate bowl, sift together sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
 gently fold into the sliced fruit. place into the buttered pan. drizzle the honey overtop.
to create the crisp topping, combine flour, brown sugar, oats, butter and chopped nuts.
 gently pour and press this mixture over the fruit.
bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until golden brown. 
serve warm with cinnamon whipped cream…

cinnamon whipped cream

2 cups whipping cream
1/2 lb of mascarpone cheese at room temperature (i used 1small tub)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

beat whipping cream until light and fluffy.

in a separate bowl, combine cheese, sugar and cinnamon.
gently fold the mixtures together.
dollop on the warm autumn fruit crisp.

“autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile”
william cullen bryant

warm farm hugs

carl laidlaw orchards

Thursday, 18 September 2014

sweet harvest

plentiful, delicious and perfect for picking this week


my favourite! tart and crisp.
wonderful for out of hand and excellent for crisps and pies.
they are a cross between a ben davis and a macintosh.
cortlands resist browning, also making them a great apple for salads.

royal gala

the sweetest apple and prettiest pink!
they have a rich full flavour with a softer flesh. perfect for lunches. galas are
cross of three apples...a golden delicious, kidd's orange and red delicious. they store very well.

honey gold

 incredibly crisp and juicy with a mild sweet flavour,
they are a lovely new apple to try from our young orchard. 
a cross between a golden delicious and haralson, honey golds are great for pies too.  


last year this orchard gave us 2 apples! 
this is the first year to invite you into our baby orchard to pick. 
sweet and crisp with a mild flavour, silkens are similar to the honey gold. 


 don't you just love the name? these are also from our baby orchard. 
with hints of a ripe banana, they are sweet and juicy.

and we are still picking our macintosh!
they have sweetened since our harvest began.
 they are still mark's favourite for pies and perfect for apple sauce too.

try them all! let us know which is your favourite!

ooh i almost forgot these…perhaps the easiest to pick!
sweet harvest indeed!

see you soon, 
warm farm hugs,

Thursday, 11 September 2014


we love pears!

sophisticated, aromatic and so versatile…what’s not to love?  
did you know that pears are members of the rose family? apples are too! 
at last we can invite you into the bartlett pear orchard to pick! 

 here is the recipe i promised to share.....
it is very easy, gorgeous and so delicious!

pear and stilton tarte 

2 large firm but ripe bartlett pears halved lengthwise and cored
1/2 package of puff pastry thawed 
1egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk (egg wash) 
2 cups baby arugula (my favourite green)
4 oz. crumbled stilton cheese

6 tablespoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 tablespoon regular dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey

whisk cream, mustards and honey together and set aside.
preheat oven to 375˚.  
place pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet.
score the pastry by cutting halfway through,
 around it's entire edge, making a 1/2 inch border.
brush the border with the egg wash.
fold the pastry inwards making a little ledge..crimp with a fork.
brush this ledge with the egg wash.
scatter arugula over puff pastry.

core and cut pears into thin slices. i use a melon baller to remove the core.
arrange the pear slices...overlapping a little.
 i don't use the very ends as they have more skin than pear flesh. 

top with the crumbled stilton cheese 

place in the lower third of your oven and bake for about 25 minutes 
until the cheese is melted and the pastry is crisp and brown. 
remove and place on cutting board and cut into 9 pieces. 
drizzle with the mustard cream. 

this is wonderful warm or at room temperature. 
i don't know if it keeps....
we always double the recipe using the entire package of pastry
 and every last bit gets devoured! it is seriously fabulous...

this recipe is from "whitewater cooks with friends"
an incredible cook book...delicious, amazing recipes and gorgeous pictures.

thanks again to my sister nancy for the book! 

pears really are the perfect dessert… 
enjoyed with a nice strong blue cheese, a handful of roasted nuts,
 your favourite port, your favourite friend…oh la la!    

our friend darryl includes a pear in his soup recipes.
they impart a subtle sweetness and richness.

pears store very well…picked green and hard.
 unlike apples, they will ripen after they have been picked.
 they turn sweet and buttery within a week at room temperature.
 fill the fridge and you can enjoy the bartletts ’til christmas! 

warm farm hugs,

Friday, 5 September 2014

hello september

what bliss to be open once more!
 it’s lovely to see our favourite guests again
and so many new families too. welcome!

we are still picking macintosh apples

and ginger gold apples

we have just started picking gravenstein apples.
they are wonderful and complex…crisp, juicy, sweet and tart at the same time!
 exceptional to enjoy fresh and brilliant for baking, sauce and cider. 

usually at this time we are picking our bartlett pears, but they are taking their sweet time to ripen.
 mother nature is indeed the boss! we will offer pear picking next week.
 i’ll share that incredible recipe i promised last week then too.

rose, an elderly, dear customer kindly shared her recipe for apple cake with us.
 she even gave me her phone number in case i needed help! how cute is that? 

1 cup of sweet butter (unsalted)
1 cup of sugar
2 1/2 cups of flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
zest from 1 fresh lemon (this is important!)
1 egg.
about 6 or 7 apples...tart is good! i used macintosh last night.
mustu, granny smith, cortland or ida reds will be excellent too.
a titch of cinnamon, and a sprinkling of sugar...depending on the tartness of the apples

preheat oven to 350˚ 
butter and flour a 9x13 baking dish.
mix together the butter and sugar. add the egg. 
we added a generous tablespoon of vanilla paste to this. 
combine the flour and baking powder together. add this to the butter mixture. 
mix well. divide in half.
roll out the dough on a floured piece of waxed paper.  
we kinda cheated and rolled it between 2 sheets of waxed paper. 
roll up the dough onto your rolling pin and unroll the dough into the prepared baking dish.

peel apples and grate coarsley into a bowl. 
we peeled and sliced the apples into tiny pieces. 
add lemon zest and toss with a little cinnamon and sugar.
pour onto the dough already in the baking dish and distribute evenly.
roll out the remaining dough on the floured wax paper 
and then place the dough on top of the apples.
bake for about 40 minutes.
while warm, sprinkle the top with vanilla sugar.

i brought this apple cake out to the barn this morning to share
 and i didn’t get a chance to take a got eaten too fast! thank you rose! 

see you soon, 
warm farm hugs,