New England colors change from blue-berry to red-apple

A sure sign of fall in Midcoast Maine is the opening of Hope Orchards, a certified organic apple orchard. In the small town of Hope, groups of happy pickers enter the orchards to pick their favorite apples. In the friendly chatter among the pickers you hear debates of the attributes of Cortland and McIntosh varieties and discussions of their favorite apple recipes.eanne picking apples at Hope Orchard for breakfast backed apples.

Although since I moved to Maine to become a B&B owner, my favorite fruit is the blueberry. How could it not be with the abundance we enjoy here? And some of the most popular recipes served in the B&B include Maine’s wild blueberries. But my best friend from high school, Linda, who lives in Wisconsin, is always sharing new apple recipes with me. (Her favorite is the McIntosh which also had many devotees in the orchards yesterday.)

To celebrate Linda’s love of apples – and Wisconsin, where the apple crop is predicted to be better than last year’s – I’m sharing one of Linda’s favorite apple recipes. She has served it for breakfast and for dessert, adding a little more apple than the recipe calls for and using a heavy hand with the cinnamon, too. Enjoy! (And thanks for the recipe).

APPLE SQUARESLinda's apple cake

1 ¾ cup sugar 2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp salt
3 eggs 1 tsp baking soda
1 cup oil 1 ½ tsp cinnamon (or more per preference)
2 cups* diced apples
1 cup nuts (optional)

Mix sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs. Add flour, salt, soda and cinnamon. Fold in apples & nuts. Bake in 9 x 13” pan, 350 degrees for 35-45 min. (adding more apples makes for a more moist batter and may require slightly longer baking time) Dust with powdered sugar when cool, or serve with ice cream or whipped cream.