Nothing will get you more in the fall spirit than Apple Fest. The upcoming festival that celebrates all things apple in Lincoln Square has continued to grow over the years.
The 31st edition is now two days (Saturday, October 6 & Sunday, October 7) with special extended hours on Saturday night to accommodate more live music this year. As always, The Chopping Block will be serving our famous Apple Pie by the slice with homemade whipped cream. This year, you'll also be able to buy whole pies in cast iron skillets. You can even pre-order your pies now, and pick them up on Friday, October 6 so you don't have to carry them around the fest. Those cast iron skillets can get heavy!
We'll also have Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches with BBQ sauce and Apple Slaw. Our Owner/Chef Shelley Young is tackling all of the smoking of the meat by herself this year. And considering we're ordering 600 pounds of pork shoulder, that's no easy task! So, plan to stay all day and have yourself a sandwich and slice of pie for dinner.
Because of the growth in popularity of this local fest and the fact that people will now be looking for dinner options, we're planning on preparing more food than ever before. Our staff will be making 775 apple pies and 3750 sandwiches this year. That's more than double than what we did last year!
Since we're in the midst of placing our orders for the ingredients that we'll need to pull this off, I thought it would be fun to break down that list for you.
First, it's important to know that we put 8 apples in each pie. No, that's not a typo - we use 8 whole Granny Smith apples in each pie. We cut each pie into 8 pieces, so that means you are getting a whole apple in each slice! That comes out to about 75 cases of apples.
In addition to the apples and pork, our chefs are also ordering:
- 400 pounds of Plugra butter (Have you tried this European style butter before? It's our chefs' favorite!)
- 100 pounds of shortening
- 500 pounds of sugar
- 750 pounds of flour
- 9 cases of heavy whipping cream
We'll also have plenty of beverage options to go with our pulled pork and pie. Choose from:
- Two wines specifically paired with our food offerings:
- 2017 Chateau Pesquie Rosé, Cotes du Ventoux, Rhône Valley, France - Bright flavors of red berries and citrus fruits. Well-balanced and fresh, a nice accompaniment to grilled fish, vegetables, charcuterie or pulled pork.
- Les Deux Moulins Sauvignon Blanc, Loire, France - Crisp and lively with vibrant minerality. Subtle grassiness and notes of lime, it's the perfect early fall sipper.
- Right Bee Cider's:
- Semi-dry cider - This cider is simply fermented apples and a drop of honey from our their own beehives. It's light, crisp, and refreshing, with just a touch of sweetness. Their blend of fresh-pressed American grown apples are fermented dry with a champagne-style yeast.
- Dry hard cider - This cider is as pure as possible, just fermented apples. No back sweetening, no additives - just pure hard apple cider. Never from concentrate, no sulfites, no preservatives, no added sugar.
- Journeyman Distillery's:
- O.C.G. (Old Country Goodness) - This apple cider liqueur is made using only the best organic Michigan apple cider, apple juice and spices that are then fortified with their signature un-aged rye whiskey. You can drink it hot, cold, straight or mixed as a traditional liqueur with other spirits in cocktails. You'll be able to taste this in our store and purchase a 750ml growler to take home with you.
We hope you are able to join us for Apple Fest this year, and that you come hungry and thirsty! In addition to the food and drink, there are dozens of vendors selling everything from bushels of apples to scarves and hats. There's also a kid zone, featuring child-focused activities throughout the day. And of course, there's an abundance of great local music. There's something for everyone at Apple Fest!