I don’t know about you but the moment the calendar flips to September and I’m back in school teaching 5 year olds, it’s Fall. Summer is over and I want sweater weather, crisp leaves and pumpkin everything. Maine is a beautiful state to visit no matter the season, but fall in Maine is truly stunning. Here are a few things I’m hoping to check off my Autumn bucket list.
Fright at the Fort
I’m a big fan of forts and lighthouses, good thing I live in Maine! Fort Knox is named for Major General Henry Knox, America’s first Secretary of War, and is one of the best preserved military fortifications on the coast of New England. The Fort is open May 1-October 31 from 9 am to sunset and will host events after hours that are perfect for “spooky season”. They have ghost tours and different fright at the fort nights. This is right up my alley, not so much Andrew’s thing.
Do a Little Leaf Peeping
The trees start to turn in late August/ early September but they tend to reach peak leaf peeping perfection by the first week in October. Check out this site for colorful drives and updated foliage reports. We clearly take this very seriously in Maine and want to make sure everyone is able to experience the poppin’ colors of Autumn. If you enjoy a little hike you should check out my favorite trails and walk among the colors. If you’re feeling extra adventurous you can check out the beautiful leaves on horseback. Carousel Horse Farm has beautiful trails and accommodates any riding level. Sable Oaks Equestrian Center offers guided trail rides ending in late fall. These rides are on dirt roads through the woods and fields, and on a network of trails. Great for any level of rider.
Sip Beer Outside
There are so many breweries in Maine and the fall season is a great time of year to sit outside and enjoy a delicious beer. Many breweries have outside seating and a few even have fire pits or heaters to stay cozy when the temperatures dip. Some of my favorite places to grab a beer outside are Austin Street, Allagash and Oxbow. You can always pick up a four pack and bring it home too. A beverage outside in the summer is nice but I love when the air is crisp and you can get snuggly in sweaters.
Apple season is upon us already! I’m heading to an orchard next Sunday to pick some early Macs and I cannot wait. There are so many orchards in Maine so whether you live here or are just visiting there is a perfect orchard for you. Libby & Sons is great for people who may have mobility limitations. They offer rides in a golf cart to the trees and someone will drop by and pick you up when you’re done. Libbys also has live music, wood fired pizza and of course the cider donuts. Dole’s Apple Orchard has over 25 Varieties of apples at their orchard and they are available at different times throughout the season. Dole’s has a cute little bake shop filled with jams, pies and crafts. Sadly no donuts but really good whoopies.
Orchard Ridge Farm just changed hands so if you visit it may look a little different. They still have the heirloom apples, fresh eggs, and baked goods (including donuts!). This is one of my favorite little orchards because you can get something different, not just Macintosh. Hansel’s Orchard still uses the wooden apple baskets that I would use when I was little so I like this one for nostalgia purposes. The apples are crunchy and the people are friendly.
Do a Little Baking
It’s no secret that I love to bake! Autumn is the perfect time to whip up some apple baked goods (pumpkin too). I shared my apple crisp recipe here which I make all season long. Another favorite recipe that can be great for an afternoon snack or breakfast are Applflappen, or apple turnovers. When we were in the Netherlands, Andrew became slightly obsessed with these and would buy one from every place we popped into that sold them. These are super easy to make but look rather impressive, you can even make the filling ahead for a quick breakfast pastry.
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 3 dried apricots
- 2 medium sized apples, peeled and chopped into small chunks
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 package puff pastry ( I like Wewalka)
- 1 whisked egg for egg wash
- Cane sugar to sprinkle on top
- Preheat your oven to 385F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Soak the raisins and apricots for 15 minutes in hot water with apple juice. Drain and set aside
- Once your dried fruits have hydrated a bit, slice the apricots into very small pieces. Combine them with raisins, apples, cinnamon and sugar.
- Take the sheet of puff pastry out of the fridge, unfold and cut it into 6 or eight equal squares. Put a small heap of the apple mix on top of each square. Brush a bit of water on the sides of the square. Fold the sheet diagonally, so you get the shape of a triangle. Carefully press the edges and make sure they are sealed so no air can escape. You can do this with a fork and get a nice pattern along the edge of the pastry.
- Brush the top of the triangles with the whisked egg and sprinkle on some cane sugar to get that nice sugary crust.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
These are best when eaten the day that they are baked but will keep for 2 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They’ll be softer, less flakey, but still tasty.
I’m already starting to check things off my list of fall favorites. What are your must dos of the season?