I grew up in sunny southern California and so, apple picking was not a “thing.” It’s just not cold enough here. So, it was not until I went off to Michigan for college that this golden state girl discovered the absolute joy that is apple picking, fresh pressed cider and cider doughnuts. I remembered going deep into the orchards and seeing ancient trees heavy with fruit. My friends and I ran around, collecting as many as we could carry, and lugged our haul back to these picturesque and quaint barn houses at the front of the orchard. We’d crunch into the juicy orbs and wash them down with the sweetest fresh pressed apple cider. We’d then dive mouth first into the freshly fried cider doughnuts. These little bites of heaven were deep fried and then rolled in cinnamon sugar…and crack…definitely crack and maybe some heroin in there too for flavor…
I celebrated my birthday this year by heading out to Los Angeles’s closest apple orchard: Oak Glen. To all of you who live in cold climates this may be passé to you but this was so exciting for me. My fiancé and I visited the quaint Willowbrook Orchard which, due to the light crop this year, was the only orchard offering U-Pick. This adorable orchard was also host to a whole troop of barnyard animals, a pumpkin patch, cider press, and general store. Pressing cider is an activity that you don’t want to miss. It’s so much fun taking a bushel of apples and crushing them and then pressing them with their old fashioned press. You definitely get a work out in. PS watch out for the bees! They love the fresh cider too!
Another spot not to be missed is Snow-Line Orchard. While it’s more of a general store than an open orchard, it is your one stop shop for cider doughnuts, fresh apples and gifts. You can smell the doughnuts from the parking lot and they are well worth the wait…especially if you have them with a cider float. Yum! Also, make sure to check out their huge selection of apples. I brought home 10 lbs of super sweet cameo and bright pink colored pink pearl apples.
We ended the day with a hard cider at the Hawk’s Head Publik House. Famous for its 5lb apple pies and colonial garbed staff, this is a great place to sit back with a pint and people watch.
I definitely hope to make this a fall tradition.