Our Irish chef in Miami's special apple cider and autumn apple pie for your fall recipe collection.

When we think of fall, the first food we think of is apples. Why apples? Well, we’re not really sure — it’s what we do, it‘s probably due to the fact that this is apple harvest time in Washington or maybe it’s the whole back-to-school, the give-the-teacher-an-apple scenario that we associate with early fall, or the candied apples we ate during Halloween as kids.

Either way, apples it is, and this week we are going to be as American as, well, apple pie. We should also get bombed on some cider. But first some trivia.

Interesting facts about apples

- 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.

- 100 varieties of apples are grown commercially in the United States.

- Apples are grown commercially in 36 states.

- Apples are grown in all 50 states.

- Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol-free.

- A medium apple is about 80 calories.

- The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

- The science of apple growing is called pomology.

- Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.

- Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.

- The apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea.

- Apples were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans.

- Apples are a member of the rose family.

Spiced Apple Cider recipe (makes 6 cups)


- 6 cups apple cider

- 1/4 cup maple syrup

- 2 cinnamon sticks

- 6 whole cloves

- 6 whole allspice berries

- 1 orange slice

- 1 lemon slice


Pour cider and maple syrup into a large saucepan.

Bundle the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, lemon slice and orange slice in a piece of washed cheesecloth; tie off the bundle at the top using some kitchen string. Drop spice bundle into cider/syrup mixture.

Heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until very hot. Don’t let the mixture boil.

Remove cider from heat. Discard the spice bundle. Serve cider in big mugs or cups. Garnish each cup with an orange slice or cinnamon stick.

Autumn Apple Pie recipe

Autumn Apple Pie recipe with Granny Smith apples

Autumn Apple Pie recipe with Granny Smith apples


- 1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch double-crust pie

- ½  cup unsalted butter

- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

- ¼ cup water

- ½ cup white sugar

- ½ cup packed brown sugar

- 8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F.

Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

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And finally…

A man walks into a bar with an apple pie on his head. The barman asks, "Why are you wearing an apple pie on your head?"

The man replies, "It's a family tradition. We always wear apple pies on our heads on Tuesday."

The barman remarks, "But it's Wednesday."

Sheepishly, the man says, "Man, I must look like a real fool."

* Originally published in 2010, updated in Oct 2022.