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Homemade Apple Pie

OCTOBER IS FESTIVAL MONTH AT THE ORCHARD operated for 47 years by the Jackson family in Warren County and Warren Rural Electric Cooperative member.

Every weekend in October, Jacksons Orchard celebrates the coming of Halloween with Pumpkin Fest. There are activities for the whole family, including wagon rides to the pumpkin patch, a corn maze, pony rides, petting zoo, face painting, and more.

Apples are the big attraction. There are 11,000 trees (some of them peach and cherry) in the 105-acre orchard, turning out apples as early as June and well into November. The orchard is perched at 770-foot elevation, the highest elevation in Warren County, according to Cathy Otis, daughter of Bill and Shirley Jackson. High elevation is good for orchards, providing protection from unseasonably early frosts that nip flowers and buds.

Of the 35 varieties available each year, five or six will be available for purchasing during October: Golden and Red Delicious, sweet Fuji, tart Winesap, Granny Smith, and crunchy Arkansas Black. It’s a perfect selection for home cooks. A mix of apple types will give your apple pie, cobbler, cake, or other dessert a more interesting flavor.

For many folks, fried apple pies are the real reason to visit an apple orchard in the fall. Flaky, deceptively light, and barely sweet, they are a Kentucky tradition.

There are caramel apples, apple cider, apple butter, and fried apple pies in addition to other good things to eat. All of the apples come from our orchard, says Otis, but some of the fresh vegetables and canned goods come from nearby farmers.

For more information on Jackson’s Orchard, go online to The orchard is located at 1280 Slim Island Road, Bowling Green, (270) 781-5303. They are open Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Find an orchard near you at

Fried Apple Pies

2 large apples
1/4 C sugar, white or brown, or to taste
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
Pastry for 2 pie crusts
Oil for frying

Peel and dice the apples and place them in a small saucepan. Add sugar and cinnamon and stir. Cook in covered saucepan on low heat until soft, 15 minutes or so, stirring often. Mash a little with a fork to create small chunks with some applesauce. Cool.

Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll to 1/8-inch thick and cut rounds with a large cookie cutter (4 inches in diameter), glass, or by tracing around a plate. You can make the rounds bigger or smaller, but adjust the apple-filling amount. In each round, place about a tablespoon of fruit. Fold in half, and press edge with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling.

Heat oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to 375. Fry the pies, a few at a time, 2 to 3 minutes on each side; cook until the crust is golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Makes about 12 pies.


Super Bowl Chili

1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
3 Tbsp Mexican chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 lbs ground beef
15 1/2-oz can red kidney beans
15 1/2-oz can black beans
2 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes with chilies
1/2 C tequila, or 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt, to taste

Saute onion, green pepper, and garlic in oil; add chili powder and cumin. Brown meat, chunky-style, in another large pot. Add drained meat, beans, tomatoes, tequila or vinegar, sugar, and salt to onion mixture. Cover and simmer the chili for 1 hour, stirring frequently to avoid scorching. Makes 6-8 entree servings.

Submitted by HUGH DUGUID, Hopkinsville, a Pennyrile Electric cooperative member who says, “The tequila was my idea.” He adds, “The chili is really better the next day after spending the night in the fridge.”

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