Friday, November 17, 2023

A Fall Harvest Treat

Cherry Creek Orchard is a family run business close to Pontotoc, MS. I think it belongs to a Mennonite family. All I know for sure is they grow Aransas Black Apples and I love them, especially when they are the main ingredient in a  tasty treat.


 The first Arkansas Black Apples I ever encountered were at a fruit stand on highway 62 between the War Eagle Mill and our home in Mt. Home, Arkansas back in 1982. In those days, I was a quality engineer for Baxter Travenol’s Vicra IV catheters, Vicra silicon central venous catheters, Vicra and Fenwal IV needles, Travenol blood cell separators, and Travenol parallel plate and capillary flow dialyzer filters at their Mt. Home Plant. They also produced (Fenwal) blood bags, miles of the propriety vinyl plastic sheeting used to fabricate plastic IV bags and miles of the vinyl tubing used to get the IV or blood from bag to needle in the plant. We stayed busy 24/7 making health care products and materials in an operation located in a beautiful part of our country.

When not at work, our family traveled as much of northern Arkansas as possible, going to tourist spots, craft fairs, floating down the Buffalo National River and the White River, visiting the caves and caverns in the area, boating, hiking, camping, and trying to catch all of the trout and fish in the White River and the several Corps of Engineer Hydroelectric reservoirs on the White and Norfork Rivers. Even though I failed to empty the reservoirs of fish, I did catch my share of them, and we had lots of fun living there.

A few years back, we discovered Cherry Creek Orchard east of Pontotoc in North Mississippi. The fine folks there grow peaches, plums, tomatoes, other stuff, and Arkansas Black Apples. 

I was excited to discover the apples we loved during our Mountain Home days were also grown in Mississippi, so we drove to the operation and were able to go out into the orchard to pick our own. The Arkansas Black is a firm fleshed apple with a nice, sweet flavor. They make excellent pies, and in the case of today’s post, tasty apple cobbler.

Here is how I make it.       

Apple Cobbler with Crumb Crust

This recipe makes 3-4 servings.


4 -5 Apples (Granny Smith, Arkansas Black, or any firm cooking apple), peeled and sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons White Sugar
1 Tablespoon AP Flour
1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
3 Tablespoons water or apple juice
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
a pinch of salt

For crumb topping:

1/2 cup AP flour
1 Tablespoon white sugar
3 Tablespoons melted butter
pinch of salt

vanilla ice cream – to serve



Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick slices. Keep covered in cool water with a little lemon juice until needed. For this cobbler, I used two Granny Smith and five Arkansas Black Apples.

To the sliced apples, add brown and white sugar, a pinch of salt, AP flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.

Add the fruit mixture to a well buttered baking dish. Cut 2 Tablespoons of butter into small pieces and add over the mixture in the baking dish. Mix the corn starch in water and pour over the top of the mixed ingredients in the baking dish.

Mix the crumb covering using 3 Tablespoons of melted butter, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1/2 cup AP flour and a pinch of salt.  Mix the topping together well, using a fork and add enough flour to make a dry crumb consistency. Sprinkle the crumb liberally over the top of the fruit.

Bake for 30-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Pull when the top has browned slightly.

Serve, topped with a nice scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream.

Thanks for looking at my post.

God Bless You.


Anonymous said...

Never been big on Ice Cream on my pie. Will try this recipe sans the Ice Cream and I'm betting on a mouth watering treat.

Anonymous said...

A friend brought my annual 2 sacks of apples from North Carolina recently. I made and canned apple butter. I use a Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer device and throw the cores and peels into my steam juicer which gives me enough apple juice to make apple jelly as well.

Thanks for posting this, I am excited to know there are local-ish apples as I'd like to make more sometimes plus cobbler is always a solid plan.

Anonymous said...

I like that you mixed two different kinds of apples. I do that, too, because it makes a more complex apple flavor.

@11:11 - I'm not a fan of ice cream on pie, either, because the crust gets soggy. I don't like the sogginess of tres leches cake, either. But I love some melted cheddar cheese on top of my apple pie slice. Maybe that's a Yankee thing.

Thank you, Mr. Bear.

Anonymous said...

I just looked-up Arkansas Black apples. Those are beauties! And how wonderful it is, that there are Mississippians growing them!

Stuff About ZeroBear PolyBear said...

7:41 - There aren't many apples that grow and produce nice fruit in the south, because of the number of cold days required to set blooms and fruit (I am aware I oversimplified that statement). Arkansas Black is one worth any good thing anyone might say about it. Really tasty, with a nice crunch. You will find the peel slightly tougher than northern apples, but still very nice. I don't mind the peel because most of the fiber is in the peel and tougher peels have more fiber, or at least that is what I think. IF you can, try them. You will be pleased.

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