Come and experience Oak Glen’s Apple Harvest running Labor Day Weekend through Thanksgiving Weekend. Located in Southern California, it is found on Oak Glen Road which is a scenic loop that travels a total distance of 20 miles. Oak Glen is a 5-mile section of this road and passes apple farms, shops, restaurants, group camps, nature trails, bakeries, cafes, cideries, and historical landmarks. You can pick your own apples, raspberries, or pumpkins, press your own cider, and enjoy country music, dancing, dinner events, and other old-fashioned activities.
If you are the more outdoors type, you can always explore and hike the vast and beautiful offerings of nature at The Wildlands Conservancy. You can also visit the historical Oak Glen School House Museum or take a horse-drawn wagon ride through the orchards. Marvel at fall colors as brilliant as those of New England. Here is a link to their website.
Living most of my life in Southern California I have known many people who make the trek to Oak Glen for the Apple Harvest every year to get the perfect apples for the holiday pies. Sadly, I have never been. However, have many friends who have enjoyed hot apple pie and other fresh-baked apple treats at one of the family restaurants. Their kids have been able to feed the animals in the animal park. Those who like to shop have had fun browsing through the many specialty shops in Glen. FYI, a Bed and Breakfast, RV facilities as well as camping and group accommodations are also available.
According to their site, Oak Glen is nestled in the heart of Apple Country, and one of the most scenic spots in Southern California. They enjoy cooler weather in the summer and winter offers enough snow to make snowmen. Folks can come up and enjoy a simpler way of life, surrounded by the fresh crisp air, and partake of the beautiful change of seasons. They invite you to come to be a part of their family traditions. An hour from Los Angeles or Palm Springs is not too far to come and spend the day having some good ole’ country fun.
The mile-high climate of Oak Glen provides a beautiful change of season, unsurpassed in Southern California. As stated above, it’s always 10-15 degrees cooler than it is in the valleys. Apple orchards cover the slopes laden with apple blossoms in the spring and apples in the fall. A perfect time for an apple harvest.
Here is a little bit of information about apples and apple trees:
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus Domestica in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans.
The tree originated in Western Asia, where its wild ancestor, the Alma, is still found today. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the same rootstock.
At least 55 million tonnes of apples were grown worldwide in 2005, with a value of about $10 billion. China produced about 35% of this total. The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 7.5% of world production. Iran is third, followed by Turkey, Russia, Italy, and India.
So now you know a little bit about apples that you picked at the Apple Harvest, now what? I say make a pie! Here is a recipe that Glen Oak had on their site last year that sounded really good. Not sure if it’s still there, but it is below. Let me know if you try it and what you think. Here is a link to their website with more information. Hope you can make it to apple harvest one year. Happy apple picking!
Oak Glen Apple Pie with Cinnamon Sauce
- 9 cups peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apples such as Idared, Jonagold, Newtown Pippin, or Stayman Winesap (about 2 1/2 lb. total)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie
- 1 1/3 cups apple juice
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 in.)
- 1 strip orange peel (1/2 by 4 in., orange part only)
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- Vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Mix apple slices with 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste and, if desired, add more granulated sugar and lemon juice
- On a lightly floured board, roll half the pastry into a round 1/8 inch thick. Line a 9-inch pie pan with pastry. Fill with apple mixture.
- On a lightly floured board, roll remaining pastry into a 1/8-inch-thick round and lay over apple mixture. Fold edges of top pastry over edges of the bottom one and crimp to seal together. Cut decorative slits in top pastry and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
- Bake on the lowest rack in a 375° oven until juices bubble in center of pie, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. If pastry edges brown before pie is done, drape affected areas with foil. Cool pie on a rack at least 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan, combine apple juice, cinnamon stick, and orange peel. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in brown sugar until it dissolves. Mix remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch smoothly with 3 tablespoons water; stir into juice mixture over high heat until sauce boils. Discard cinnamon stick and orange peel.
- Cut warm or cool pie into wedges; top each portion with vanilla ice cream and warm or cool cinnamon sauce.
- Amount per serving
- Calories: 476
- Calories from fat: 28%
- Protein: 3.2g
- Fat: 15g
- Saturated fat: 3.8g
- Carbohydrate: 84g
- Fiber: 3.2g
- Sodium: 244mg
Like I said earlier, I have never been, but I have heard great things from friends who have been there during the apple harvest time. I have been through the area at other times of the year, and know it’s beautiful, just never made it during the fall. Hopefully, I will make it while we are there in early November. If you have been there before, please leave a comment and let me know how you enjoyed it. Thanks in advance. Happy apple picking! BTW, if you are in Southern California during October, make sure to check out Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park. SO much fun!
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