This week the phrase “Comfort me with apples” came to mind. It’s also the name of one of my favorite Ruth Reichl books.
As soon as the weather dipped towards the 50’s, I ordered some hoodies and headed to the apple orchard.
Some of our family members were raving about the caramel apples at Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake. They also mentioned their apple turnovers, which they described as nothing special to look at, but extremely delicious.
Caramel apples got stuck in my head and I thought about them all night.
We drove to the orchard the next morning, arriving promptly at nine a.m. Pine Tree sells thei apples, but does not offer pick-your-own. This was fine by me, as I stocked up on Zestar apples at the farmers market. The large storefront also offers baked goods, cider, jams, etc.
It’s a good thing we arrived at opening, for the store began filling with people. We quickly grabbed some treats and checked-out.
My heart fell into my shoes when I saw the sign stating caramel apples were unavailable until Wednesday. Alas, and on the way home, I couldn’t find caramel apples anywhere in the Twin Cities. Kowalski’s, Lund’s, Regina’s, Abdallah’s. . . I called several more places with no response, vowing to return to the orchard next weekend (after calling ahead to check, of course).
I complained about having to settle for some processed caramel apple dip, despite eating a fair amount of it and licking my plate and spoon clean.
The Apple Delight bread contains more ingredients than I prefer, but tastes light, fluffy and delightful with bits of soft apple.
The Apple Rollovers are absurdly good.
Just as our family described, the Rollovers look so plain that we would have passed them by.
The light, flaky pastry almost melts in your mouth with a real butter flavor, hugging sweet apple filling. The ingredient list is short and sweet, dominated by apples and butter. Even the dab of glaze contains apple cider.
I can see why they rave about them. Worth the drive.
Update: My sister-in-law and her family visited the orchard and brought me a couple caramel apples – I can confirm these are indeed good caramel apples – a thick layer of chewy, buttery caramel around tart apples. My folks also heard about our caramel apple search that weekend and brought me homemade caramel apples made with our family’s recipe for Christmas caramel. Also delightful! Now I am seeing caramel apples everywhere. Just needed to wait another couple weeks.
Pine Tree Apple Orchard
450 Apple Orchard Rd
White Bear Lake, MN 55110