Cheshire is still known for its apple orchards  

Cheshire is still known for its apple orchards  

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CHESHIRE — Cheshire is an apple town. Whether you’re looking for Honeycrisp, Macintosh, Macoun or Gala, you will find them at a local orchard. In Cheshire’s earliest days, apple orchards were a common sight throughout the town. It was also common for homeowners to plant a few trees in their side and backyards. Even today, Cheshire has a good number of orchards. They are Norton Brothers Fruit Farm on Academy Road, Drazen Orchards on Wallingford Road, Hickory Hill Orchard and Old Bishop Farms on South Meriden Road.

Not sure which apple to try? The Norton Brothers Fruit Farm website recommends Empire apples for eating, since the fruit is juicy and crisp. Red Delicious is another eating apple, this one is on the sweet side. If you want an eating apple that’s tart, sink your teeth into Braeburn. Macoun is semi-sweet, has a crisp crunch and is as delicious by itself and equally so when you slice it into a salad. Cortland apples are a good choice for baking, and MacIntosh makes great applesauce.

When you bring the apples home, make sure to store them correctly, so they keep well. Put them into a plastic bag and store in the crisper compartment in your refrigerator, away from other produce. The quality should not be affected and the apples should last a month or more.

Old Bishop Farms has a reputation for apple cider donuts. Carolyn Torello, who owns Old Bishop Farms with husband John, makes them every morning with her staff and uses the original Old Bishop Farms recipe. And in case you were wondering, no! the recipe is not shared. After a few hours spent making apple cider donuts, by mid-morning the crew moves on to baking Carolyn’s apple crumb pie, and the smaller apple handpies, both of which are winners with customers.

Drazen Orchards also has its share of fans. The Drazen family (siblings Eli and Lisa and their respective spouses Won Hee and Kevin), tend to the orchard and its popular farmstand. “You can cook, bake and eat with any apple,” said Lisa Drazen. “In our opinion, softer varieties such as the MacIntosh are better for sauce. We like to bake with a firm apple. We recommend combining two varieties for flavor interest.”

Additionally, the harvest season dictates our recommendations, said Drazen. “In August we always recommend the great, all-purpose Gingergold apple. Currently, our top picks are Cortland, Jonagold, Empire, Golden Delicious and Mutsu,” she said.       

From the Drazen Farmer’s favorite apple recipe, Lisa Drazen shares “our mother Millie’s go-to recipe for dessert. We love it because the ingredients are staples and typically on hand without a special trip to the store.”

“For years our mother would not give us the recipe because she said, ‘you will never make it,’” said Drazen. “I never understood her strange comment until I finally got a copy of the recipe. The top-secret ingredient is a Bisquick crust, which our mom thought would turn off her ‘purist’ kids.”  

Lisa Drazen calls it so delicious that at her wedding to Kevin, Millie Drazen’s Apple Crisp was served in lieu of cake.      

Millie Drazen’s

Apple Crisp

6-8 servings, double the recipe for 12-16 people and use a 9x12x3.5” casserole pan

Use an 8-inch by 8-inch by 2-inch pan or a 9-inch by 9-inch by 2-inch pan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees


4 cups peeled apples (Use sturdy apples. Golden Delicious are best.)

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of sugar


1 and ¼ cup Bisquick mix

½ cup sugar

 ½ teaspoon cinnamon

 1 egg beaten

Place fruit in greased pan    

Sprinkle with water and sugar

Butter for dotting


Mix  Bisquick, sugar, cinnamon.

Slowly pour egg over dry mixture

Combine wet and dry together until crumbly. Use a pastry blender.

Sprinkle topping over apples

Dot with butter

Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown

Serve warm or cold. Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, optional. 

20200221101654 Cheshire is still known for its apple orchards  

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