Crisp Apple Season – Where to Pick, What to Bake

It’s that time of year again – the air gets chilly, you pull out leggings, Uggs, decorate your house with leaves and eat/drink everything pumpkin. Or apple. It’s prime time crisp apple season, y’all! Growing up on the farm, picking fruit off trees and bushes was a daily task. If you saw blackberries growing along the side of the road as you were walking, you best be sure you were stopping to eat them, and take some home for gram! So, now we’ve made it tradition to go apple picking up north of NYC every season with the kids to let them get a taste of how mom grew up. 

crisp apple season

Not only are you getting the BEST flavors of the season by picking apples right when they’re in their prime, it’s a fun experience for the kids (just make sure you don’t drop any apples on their heads!).

Tips for picking apples:

crisp apple season

– NEVER collect the apples on the ground. They’ve already fallen so they can be damaged, rotten, or have bugs that caused them to fall.

– Just like they say, go for the highest fruit. You want the ones that are the most colorful and firm.

– Twist don’t pull the apples off the trees if possible.

Favorite Apple Picking Locations outside NYC:

crisp apple season

Most apple picking costs around $25/bag (pretty big bag – seriously, get your bake on). If you go during the weekend, expect larger crowds and maybe even parking fees. Here are our favorite four farms upstate (all within an hour drive outside of NYC), and we know the farmer’s personally, so try and go up on a week day to say hi – they’re really friendly and might even show you around!

1. Fishkill Farms – 9 Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell JCT, NY 12533

2. Outhouse Orchards – 139 Hardscrable Rd, Croton Falls, NY 10519

3. Stuart’s Fruit Farm – 62 Granite Springs Road, Granite Springs NY, 10527

4. Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard – 130 Hardscrabble Rd., North Salem NY, 10560

Favorite Apple Recipes:

crisp apple season

My gram taught me that baking is your best friend. I’ve been teaching my neighbor and it really is an art – from making the dough, to rolling the dough, to somehow getting that dough in the pie pan before it breaks – art.  Here are my three favorite apple recipes from gram you can find on my site:

1. Cider Caramel Apple Pie

2. Homemade Applesauce

3. Mini Apple/Brie Pies with honey and almonds (I originally created this myself with peaches, but it works well with apples too!)

About the Author:

Stephanie Barnhart is an award-winning blogger, columnist, and outdoor enthusiast writer featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and other media outlets. She is also the NYC Editor for


  1. Robin Rue October 3, 2014 at 11:34 am

    We picked apples back on Labor Day and used them all in a big old apple crisp. It was SO good.

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      I always want to make an apple crisp! Do you have a link for a good recipe?

  2. Rachelle October 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I LOVE apple picking season, and a classic apple pie is my favorite recipe, thanks for sharing!

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      You’ll LOVE it!

  3. Tricia Goodmama October 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    What a great post on apple picking! We just went picking a week ago. We had so much fun! I just made some apple crisp from the apples and I might try some apple sauce next.

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Applesauce is the easiest and sooooo good – and it’s easy for lunches for the kids!

  4. BellaVida October 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    I’ve never been apple picking. Sounds like a fun thing to do. My favorite apple recipe has to be apple cinnamon muffins. yum

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Picking the apples is half the fun – share your recipe I’ll give it a try!

  5. PInParent October 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    We just went last weekend. My daughter only wanted the highest ones. We had a lot of fun & ate way too many apples. We always bring a bottle of water for rinsing too.

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      haha my favorite moment was Max eating the apples right in the orchard!

  6. Kori October 3, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    We live near several apple orchards.. well, farms really that happen to have apple trees. It’s something that we look forward to every year,

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Glad to hear!

  7. Meeks October 3, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    I promise myself, that I will go to an Apple orchard this fall. I love anything apple. So thanks for the gentle prompt to be kind to myself and pick apples.

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      haha yes get out there before they’re all gone!

  8. Bismah Abdelgawad October 4, 2014 at 4:54 am

    I love apples and anything cooked with apples! I will have to try out these recipes. Thank you for sharing!

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Let me know how you like them!

  9. Carly Anderson October 4, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Super cute pictures! I really need to find a place near me that allows us to go apple picking. I’ve always wanted to go!

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Where do you live Carly?

  10. Katrina Gehman October 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    i love picking apples. looks like you guys had a great time

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      We had an amazing time. The boys LOVE to get out and run in the open fields!

  11. Jaime Nicole October 5, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Awww! Looks like fun. We don’t have much in the way of apple orchards here in Phoenix but we have lots of citrus trees that we pick.

    • Stephanie October 5, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Let’s swap fruit! haha

  12. Adin Blankenship October 7, 2014 at 11:22 am

    We have never been Apple Picking before and I sure don’t know where to go apple picking in our area. I guess it is time to research online. Awe! Look at the little ones busy picking apples. I sure miss our other yard though where we have lots of apple trees. And that apple pie, looks good. It makes me want to bake some.

  13. RattlesandHeels October 12, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Okay, I hunted this list down from the gram 😉 Thanks for sharing. I’m taking the kids and I needed something close because the last farm we went to was in Syracuse. Yeah, it’s a long story (and drive).

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