As a young girl growing up in Cedar Rapids, I looked forward to fall; the changing colors of the trees, hayrack rides, and our annual trip to the local apple orchard. Though I have skipped a few annual trips over the years, visiting one local orchard reminded me of why I looked forward to it every year.
Allen's Apple Orchard located at 5801 10th St, Marion, offers more than just apples. Their haystack/tunnel for the kids, along with hayrack rides, and the opportunity to pick your own apples provides an entertaining family activity that everyone can enjoy.
Allen's also has a variety of items in their store, including local honey, jams and jellies, and their homemade apple donuts and apple slushies, and of course, different kinds of apples that are labeled as to which are best for cooking and eating. Children's books about apples, crafts, and other locally-made craft items are also available for purchase.
We chose to pick our own apples during our visit Sept. 15. Since this was our first time at Allen's, we had to ask how we go about it. One of the staff members patiently asked us what kind of apples we were looking for and directed us to the trees that had a purple ribbon, signifying Cortland apples, great for eating and baking. (Apple Crisp recipe below)
The tree was full of ripe, delicious-looking apples, and we chose the best ones and took them back to the store to pay for them. As we stood in line, I looked over and saw a case filled with donuts and turnovers. I chose the apple donuts (3 for $3), and though it was a tough decision between the two, I was so glad I did. The homemade donuts were indescribably delicious, with just the right balance of apples, sugar, and cinnamon.
The visit to Allen's Orchard brought back many memories for me, as well as created new ones; an adventure that is sure to become an annual tradition.
Allen's is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. For more information, visit their website or Facebook page.
Cindy's Apple Crisp
6 apples, peeled and cores, and diced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
Preheat oven to 375°. Toss apples with cinnamon and sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Place apples in a 9" x 13" pan and top with oats and sugar mixture. Bake for 40 minutes or until apples are tender.