My little family and I have started a new tradition of going apple picking every Fall and this was our second year to do so. It’s so much fun being able to go and pick your own apples right off of the trees and the place we have gone to the past two years has an Apple Harvest Festival the first three weeks of October. Last year we went a little crazy with how many apples we picked and some of our apples didn’t last long enough for us to eat them, but this year we only picked the amount we knew we would use.
It’s so pretty and I get this feeling of accomplishment from being able to pick my own fruit! I know that may sound silly, but I have come a long way from the way I use to be. In my younger days supporting local farms and thinking about where our food comes from were not one of my top priorities.
My husband is up in there somewhere.
If you live in or around Virginia you should visit the Apple Harvest Festival that is held annually in October at Graves’ Mountain.
If you have an abundance of apples from your apple picking adventures also, here is a recipe that will help you put those apples to good use. This Apple Cranberry Tea Ring is the perfect pastry to have at any up coming holiday brunches you may be hosting.
Apple Cranberry Tea Ring
Makes 2 Tea Rings
5 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 ½ Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 ½ Cups Non-Dairy Milk
½ Cup Margarine
½ Cup Sugar (I use Evaporated Cane Juice)
4 ½ Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
½ Cup Warm Water
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 ½ Teaspoons Sea Salt
1 ½ Cups Chopped Apple
2/3 Cup Coarsely Chopped Dried Cranberries
1 ½ Cups Brown Sugar
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Margarine
Apple Cider Glaze:
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider
2 Teaspoons Brown Rice Syrup
Preheat oven to 350 ͦF and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk together the non-dairy milk, sugar and margarine in a small saucepot over medium heat until the margarine has melted. Allow mixture to cool to lukewarm.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl; if mixing by hand, combine the yeast and ½ cup of warm water. Let yeast and water sit for 10 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture, whole wheat pastry flour, 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, sea salt, and applesauce into the yeast mixture. Gradually add the rest of the flour until the dough is no longer sticky to the touch.
At this point if you have a dough hook attachment for your stand mixer you can allow the dough hook to knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes. If you do not have a dough hook; turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes until it is firm. Shape the dough into a ball and place the dough in a large bowl that has been lightly greased with oil. Turn the dough over once so the top has been lightly greased. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until it had doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Slice the dough in half and allow it to rest while you prepare the other ingredients.
In a medium bowl mix together all the ingredients for the filling instead of the margarine. With a pastry blender or two forks, cut in the margarine until the mixture becomes crumbly. Stir in the chopped apples.
Roll one half of the dough out into a rectangle and sprinkle half of the filling evenly over the dough. Sprinkle half of the chopped cranberries of the dough and roll the dough up starting with the long side. Pinch the seams to seal them. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Place the tea rings on the prepared cookie sheets, form into a circle and pinch the seams to seal where you connected the circle together. Cut slits into the circles 1-inch apart and twist each one outward placing them seam side down. Allow the tea rings to rise for another 30 minutes.
Bake the tea rings for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 ͦF until golden brown.
In a small bowl; mix together the powdered sugar, apple cider and brown rice syrup. When the tea rings have cooled, drizzle them with the apple cider glaze.