The waiting is over — apple time is here!
Already, the leaves are turning to golden and the evenings are turning cooler. That means it’s time to head to Community Orchard and enjoy the fruits of the season. It’s a chance to combine absolutely decadent desserts with boutique-style shopping — and you can’t get any better than that.
Checking out the apple crop after a summer drought, I was delighted to find a great selection of crisp, red apples to take home. On this day, there were baskets of Braeburn, Pink Lady, Paula Red and Granny Smith apples to choose from. You can’t buy fresher than buying from the orchard, and I enjoy checking back often to see what’s available.
My next stop was the take-home cooler where my mouth watered over the choice of warm-and-serve apple dumplings and bake-and-serve apple crisps. Nearby, I was tempted by the huge, hand-dipped caramel apples. That’s the great thing about Community Orchard; you can buy fresh apples and make all these wonderful treats yourself, or just take advantage of the take-home choices.
I also enjoy browsing the gourmet-style foods. The sweet corn salsa sounded delightful, and I can never resist the orchard’s own apple butter. There is also a great variety of unique dressings and even some wine from right here in Webster County.
Now, what about the food? The soup and sandwich menu is wonderful — a grilled ham sandwich with a cup of soup on a crisp fall day is to die for — but I really come for the sweet treats. Just reading the fudge varieties is delicious: maple nut, chocolate, vanilla walnut, rocky road and many more.
You can’t beat the orchard’s hot apple cider with a piece of warm apple pie. Kicking things up a notch this year is the new caramel apple flat pie. For all of us who think the only way to improve on a traditional pie is less fruit and more of that awesome pastry crust, the caramel apple flat pie is for you — and me. The crust on this is richer than Ivanna Trump and sweeter than Mother Teresa. Folded inside, the apples and caramel melt in your mouth.
Apple time is here again, and all is right with the world.Community Orchard Cafe
2237 160th St. • 515-573-8212
Mon. – Sat.: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
(Lunch served 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)