It’s Apple Season in France!

Hello Friends, Foodies, and Fellow Campers!

Gourmet Girl Denise here from the Loire River Valley, France. It is apple harvest here in the Loire and all parts north of here. Especially Normandy where they press the apples into cider and Calvados, an apple brandy. You may remember from my last post a couple of weeks ago that I shared a picture of a discovery in my old attic, this Calvados server.

Well here is a link to how it is made:

Normandy is the apple growing capital of France, but here in the Loire we also grow many varieties of apples. Here at my home, Le Petit Saint Barnabé, I am surrounded by apple growers, and I am seriously thinking that when I cash in my poplar grove, I might just try to grow apples. I walked around the neighborhood recently and captured a few photos of apples growing near me.

Aren’t they lovely? The trees are trained into a columnar shape, their height kept to a minimum for easy harvesting, and then they are covered with a net-like material to keep the birds from disfiguring the fruit. These pictures were taken yesterday and within the next two weeks, all of the apples will be harvested.

I have been maintaining a local English couples garden for them while they are home in England and found an apple tree on steroids on their property. Here is one of the apples from that tree. It’s a giant!! Bigger than my hand! They can’t remember the variety, unfortunately.  All I know is that I could make an entire apple pie with this one apple!.


The same garden had this amazingly beautiful crabapple tree growing in it. The color of the fruit is so exquisite! And even though in our time we don’t think of crab apples as edible, there was a time when many wonderful recipes existed for this little beauty. They make a great jam! I will be looking up those recipes to share with you all soon!

So as the days grow shorter, the air gets crisper and winter sets in, the final fruits are harvested and made into drinks, jams, chutneys, pies and of course the quintessential French dessert! Tart Tatin! I have posted a recipe for this in a past blog, but I do feel it is necessary to post it again. The Tart Tatin was an apple pie gone awry, (sorry for the alliteration), and served anyway to a very appreciative audience by the Tatin sisters. It is now the signature apple dessert of France! ttps://  This is a British site so that you can see the recipe in English.

What have you been cooking lately? Let us know!


Denise, Gail, and Lindsey

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