Ultimate Guide to Apple and Pumpkin Picking

How (and where) to take full advantage of the classic flavors of the season

Photo Pumpkins Modified: Flickr/ Rich Bowen/ CC4.0

Who doesn't love pumpkin picking?

The crisp smell of cool air and the crunch of leaves underfoot trigger a desire for those familiar tastes and smells of autumn. And as fall turns the corner, it brings with it a host of new thrills, not the least of which is pulling out your coziest sweaters and heading to a pick-your-own farm nearby. What could be more irresistible than the lure of fresh apple pie, pumpkin carving, and farm-fresh cheese?

As you pick up your basket and stroll deep into rows and rows of apple orchards, it may be hard to remember what you are hunting for (and what you can use all the apples you pick for later). And the same goes for pumpkins, should you choose to stray from the beaten path enough to buy more than just one big, bright orange orb. Check out our guide to apples, pumpkins, and what to do with it all when you have it at home.


McIntosh: Arguably one of the most commercialized apples on the market, this red and green fruit is excellent for applesauce. Leave the skin on to add a rosy color to your dish. For a seasonal take on this kitchen classic, try one of our recipe for maple applesauce.

Red Delicious: Hungry after a long day of apple picking? No problem! Easy to identify by their vibrant red coat, Red Delicious apples are an autumnal classic and are made to be eaten straight from the tree.

Granny Smith: Don’t have much of a sweet tooth? You can still join in on the fun with the tangy Granny Smith. This tart variety stands out from the rest with its bright green color and unique flavor. Perfect in pies or eaten fresh from the farm. For a twist on a breakfast classic, try one of these recipes for Granny Smith oatmeal waffles.

Melrose: When the temperatures cool and we all start to desire comfort foods and hometown classics, it’s time to step up to the challenge of an apple pie — latticework and all. Grab some Melrose apples to create a truly show-stopping dessert. Tailor-made for this dish with its firm texture and fragrant scent, the Melrose is a must-have for anyone who loves pie. Try our favorite version of salty caramel apple pie. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Navaboo)


Cortland: Cortland apples have a crunchy flesh that remains white long after cutting. Use these to create a healthier apple dish, like a crisp fruit salad with Cortland apples, sans the lemon juice! Try this radicchio salad with frisée and apples, and notice the beautiful white contrast against your greens.