Growing up in the country with a small orchard in the backyard meant that nearly all year round there was always fruit to be had. My favourite time was around April when the Jonathan apple tree bore the most juicy, crisp apples imaginable – so good that I was known to pack nothing but apples in my school lunch box some days.
Regrettably much of the fruit I buy now is plucked in a hurry from crates at the supermarket – on special occasions from the farmers’ market – without much knowledge of where it’s from, how far it travelled to get there or of how long it’s been sitting in transit in a cool room somewhere.
Visiting Logan Brae apple orchard in Blackheath brings back those lovely memories of eating fruit direct from the tree.
The early season at Logan Brae begins towards the end of January with Gravenstein apples, then in the following months you’ll find Royal Galas, Bonzas, Jonathans and others. Pink Ladys and Granny Smiths appear towards the end of the season.
When we visit in April there are Fujis, Granny Smiths, Royal Galas and Jonathans available at $13 a box.
As well as the apples, what draws people here is the hot, spiced apple juice ($2.50 a cup), which on a chilly day is the perfect thing to sip as you ponder which box of apples to buy…
…or how many jars of homemade jams, apple jelly and orchard honey you need for your pantry at home. Or how many you need for gifts. But most likely for your pantry.
We often go to Logan Brae when we have visitors, not only because it’s a great place to spend a half hour or more, snuggled up in the Packing Shed sipping a hot juice, but because we usually have a big feast planned for dinner and are in need of some apple pies, $5, for dessert.
You’d be hard pressed to find a better pie than these sugar-dusted, crimped-edged beauties, filled with chunks of sweet, stewed apples sourced straight from the orchard. They’re divine topped with good quality vanilla ice-cream and cream, but since they’re served warm from the pie oven you’d be forgiven for not being able to resist eating one there and then.
So which box of apples did we choose?
The Royals Galas won us over for their sweetness and size – perfect for little hands to grip… My one-year-old was snacking on them for weeks after we bought them.
And if you or your kids want nothing but these for lunch for a few days, that’s completely understandable…
Images by Tim Lucas
- Address: 139 Shipley Road, Blackheath, NSW 2785
- Phone: 0400 002 452
- Web: www.loganbrae.com.au
- Opening hours: Sat & Sun 10am–4pm January to July
- Wheelchair access: Yes
- Cards accepted: Cash only