Fall is in the air in Gatlinburg; cool mornings and evenings offering a respite from the hot heat of summer. In this season of harvest, apples abound in the Great Smoky Mountains and just moments from Elk Springs Resort. With its temperate climate the Smokies have long been home to numerous apple orchards and trees. Though many of the original orchards were a part of Appalachian homesteads, several area orchards are in use and offer visitors a chance to see how cider is processed and buy apples harvested fresh daily from the trees.
A great outing for the whole family visiting an orchard or cider mill is an experience to remember. Visitors can expect to see trees resplendent with apples, take in that fresh mountain air, and have the satisfaction of biting into a crisp apple recently plucked from a tree.
Located 22 miles from Gatlinburg in the town of Cosby, this orchard will take you away from some of the busier tourist attractions and introduce you to a smaller mountain town. This full service orchard, farmers market, and restaurant is well worth the trip. With an orchard alone that boasts over 40,000 apple trees, nestled outside the Great Smoky Mountains, this orchard is a great place to walk around, observe, and experience a true Appalachian apple orchard. Visitors can watch as apples are processed, sorted, and sent off in bushels to area farmers markets. With 126 varieties of apples, visitors may have a hard time deciding which apples to purchase.
For those that grow hungry apple walking the extensive grounds of this beautiful orchard, an onsite restaurant features down home food selections. Every meal also includes apple fritters and a glass of cider made fresh from the apples grown here. Something not to miss, Carver’s Orchard is a fall must when visiting the area.
Carver’s Orchard is located at 3460 Cosby Hwy Cosby, TN 37722. Phone: 423-487-2710. Visit http://carversappleorchard.com for more details.
The Apple-Barn Cider Mill and General Store
For everything apples the Apple Barn Cider Mill and General Store has something for everyone. The gigantic white washed “Apple Barn” actually was a functioning barn, built in 1910, it was a part of a farm that was purchases by the Hicks and Kilpatrick families in 1972. The orchards at this apple village hold over 4,000 trees.
The Cider Mill, which was one of the first additions to the barn, offers guest the opportunity to see all varieties of apples pressed into cider. Visitors to the Cider Mill can sample their delicious fresh pressed cider and try a variety of apple treats such as their famous fried apple pies, apple dumplings, and old-fashioned apple stack cakes. The Apple Barn and Cider Mill also features a restaurant, general store, creamery, winery, candy factory, and general store. So your family won’t lack for things to do at this popular apple destination.
The Apple Barn and Cider Mill is located at 230 Apple Valley Road Sevierville, Tennessee 37862 Phone: 865-453-9319.
Recipes Inspired by your Fresh Apples
For those people who purchase apples and prefer to create their own apple dishes, these simple apple recipes can be made in your cabin with the purchase of just a few ingredients.
Easy Apple Crisp
6 apples- peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup water
1 package butter recipe cake mix
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup butter melted
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 in baking dish.
2) Arrange apples evenly over bottom of baking dish. Pour water over apples.
3) Mix water, cake mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter; mixture will be crumbly. Sprinkle over apples
4) Bake for 45-50 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. Serve warm with milk or vanilla ice-cream!
2 apples-peeled, cored, and quartered
1 can refrigerated crescent roles
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup butter
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup orange juice
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap each quartered apple piece in a crescent triangle. Place seem down in a baking dish. Sprinkle dumplings with cinnamon.
2) In a medium saucepan combine butter, sugar, and orange juice; bring to a boil. Pour over dumplings.
3) Bake for 30 minutes or until dumplings are light brown. Spoon sauce over dumplings when serving.
Fried Apple Pies
1 can refrigerator biscuits
2 apples-peel, cored, diced
¼ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons water
1) Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon and water and cook on low heat until apples are soft.
2) Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a medium skillet.
3) Unwrapped canned biscuits. Using flour roll out biscuit to flat round circle. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of cooked apple mixture in the center of flattened biscuit. Fold in half, press edges with a fork.
4) Heat 3-4 inches vegetable oil in frying pan on medium/high heat. Cook in heated oil until dark brown on both sides.
5) Cool and serve.