Fall in Haywood County begins with a love story
– the love between farmer and the land. There is no better time to savor some of the best flavors of the growing season than right now. Each crop is infused with sunshine, the love of fertile soil nurtured by pristine headwaters and a passion for tradition passed down from generation to generation.
Visit any farmers market, specialty retail store or roadside stand and you’re sure to find a fusion of the bold flavors of summer displayed alongside delicious fall crops: apples, beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, greens, mushrooms, okra, onions, peppers, pumpkins, radishes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, winter squash and herbs. Locations listed in the Find your Adventure! Haywood County Agritourism Guide, 10th Anniversary Edition.
Nothing says “love” like something sweet served warm on a cool fall evening. We’ve gathered some of our favorite seasonal ingredients fresh from the farms of Haywood County to create a recipe for Torta di Mele—a traditional Italian cake that we’ve given a Southern twist by using local apples, pecans, garden fresh herbs and floral Haywood County honey. We baked ours in a cast iron skillet for a rustic presentation that Nonna (or Grandma) would be proud to serve!
**More farm fresh recipes available at BuyHaywood.com**
Torta di Mele with Rosemary Pecans & Max Patch Clover Honey
(Recipe courtesy of Tina Masciarelli, Buy Haywood Project Coordinator. All Rights Reserved.)
1 1/3 cups unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon dried ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
8 oz butter, softened
2 local eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt (or plain yogurt)
1-2 local apples, peeled and thinly sliced (Adjust the amount of apple depending on size of the fruit. If the apples are large, use one. If small, use two. I used NC Golden Delicious for this recipe but your favorite baking variety is a fine substitution.)
1 cup pecan pieces, toasted
Sugar in the Raw
1 Tablespoon chopped garden fresh rosemary
Vanilla Ice Cream, your favorite brand or homemade
Local Clover Honey
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop 1-2 Tablespoons of fresh rosemary and toss in a bowl with 1 cup Sugar in the Raw. The rosemary will infuse the sugar. Set aside.
- Toast the pecan pieces for 5-8 minutes until done, careful not to burn. Add hot pecans to rosemary sugar and toss until well coated. Let stand until ready to garnish dessert.
- Butter a 9 inch baking dish of your choice. I used my Grandmother’s cast iron skillet – buttered and floured.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and salt. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just until incorporated after each egg. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Be careful not to overmix after each addition. Add half the yogurt, mix just until incorporated. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, mix just until incorporated. Add the remaining yogurt, mix, and then the last portion of the flour mixture. Let stand while you prepare the apples.
- Peel and thinly slice the apple(s). Add to the batter and mix on low until apples are just incorporated, careful not to overmix or break up the apples.
- Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with Sugar in the Raw and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.
- Remove the Torta from the oven and let rest for 8-10 minutes before cutting.
- Assemble the toppings: Vanilla Ice Cream, Rosemary Pecans & Local Clover Honey. In each bowl, place a slice of the Torta, a scoop of ice cream, the toasted rosemary pecans (making sure to get bits of rosemary and sugar) and drizzle the top with clover honey.
September is North Carolina’s Apple Month and October is National Apple Month. Celebrate by grabbing your apples from our local Farmer’s Markets and attending the 29th Annual Apple Harvest Festival in downtown Waynesville on October 21, 2017.