Ah, harvest time. It’s a sunny and mild season when rich abundance is to be found in the country fields. Think juicy pumpkins, crunchy McIntosh apples, and glistening prunes.

Here are the top five places in Quebec to seek out with your family for a fun weekend activity. Check out orchards, plan out a country picnic, or simply load up on fruits and vegetables, packed as they are with anti-oxydants and vitamins to ensure your good health.  As a bonus, we’ve added a recipe for apple pie that’ll be a feast to behold!

1-Au Paradis des Fruits. This eco-friendly farm is situated about an hour from Montreal at 519, rue Bruce, off route 202. The 100-acre farm boasts a delicious eco-friendly natural honey made by the family’s own bees. Having cultivated fruits for over 55 years, Au Paradis des Fruits is a go-to place to entice your children to pick their own fruits and to savour delicious berries. Visit the website https://www.paradisdesfruits.com or call (450) 295-2667 for more information.

2-La Pommeraie d’Or. In Rougemont, this orchard’s boutique is a treat for the eyes and to the mouth! You will have the chance to watch apples being baked on site. Breathe in to enticing scent of apple sauce bubbling in saucepans while you shop up on apples, jellies, doghnuts, and other products. Do you consider yourself an avid learner? Come check out the apple-themed interpretation trail and discover the difference between apple types, such as McIntosh, Paula Red, Gala, Spartan, Cortland, and more. Come to 173, chemin de Marieville in Rougemont. Call (450) 469-2345. http://www.lapommeraiedor.com/ 

3-Au Coeur de la Pomme S.E.N.C. This bucolic scenery will impress almost anyone. Come visit the Levasseur family, which has been operating shop since 1982. Spread out a blanket and have a picnic, pick your apples or visit the country shop and purchase marinades and mustards, jellies, apple butter, pies and fresh juices. Come to 42, route 237 Nord in Frelighsburg in the Eastern Townships. Call (450) 298-5319 for more details. http://aucoeurdelapomme.ca/en/

4-Fromagerie des Cantons inc. Check out this establishment for a delicious array of cheeses including Le Zéphyr and La Brise du Vigneron, two hand-crafted cheeses made with raw milk from a local Jersey herd. Located at the very start of the Wine Route or Route des vins, la Fromagerie des Cantons inc. demonstrates how cheese is made. A learning experience for young and old! Come to 441, boulevard de Normandie Nord in Farnham. Call (450) 293-2498 for more information. http://www.fromageriedescantons.com/ 

5-Domaine des Côtes d’Ardoise. Nothing ends the day better than a fine glass of wine, right? Come check out first and oldest vineyard in operation in Quebec. Since 1980, the estate has been working hard to improve its wine-making production. Today, the estate cultivates over 45,000 plants over 11 hectares. Flowered paths and picnic areas make this enchanting site all the more beautiful for a family get-together or for a late afternoon snack. Come to 879, rue Bruce on route 202 in Dunham. Call (450) 295-2020 for more details. https://www.cotesdardoise.com/index.en.php

 

What to do with the left-over fruit? Don’t throw it away! Instead, be inspired by renowned chef Julia Child’s buttery Tarte aux Pommes! Follow these steps to gastronomy delight.

You will need:

10 inch partiall cooked pastry shell

4 pounds cooking apples (Cortland is preferrable)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

A third of a cup of apricot jam

A third of a cup of rum

Two-thirds of a cup of granulated sugar

3 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit. Don’t wait too long!
  2. Quarter, core, and peel the apples. Throw 3 cups of these in a bowl with the lemon juice and the sugar. Put aside for the top layer on the tart.
  3. Cut the remaining apples in small pieces and cook on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Beat in the apricot jam, sugar, butter, and rum.
  5. Spread the applesauce into the pastry shell. Yes, you can have a lick!
  6. Top with the sliced apples and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of honey. Eat immediately.
  7. Bon appétit!
  8. Photo credit: Sam Lenz.
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