I'm lucky enough to have a friend whose been to pretty much every single pick-your-own place in the Cincinnati area so I always refer to her when I want to do some picking. For blueberries she told me to go to Rouster's Apple House in Milford, but for apples she said I should go to Iron Fruit Farms in Lebanon. So we did!
Iron Fruit Farms is basically just a big family farm with a large orchard and a plethora of apple varieties. They also have pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and a small store with produce and baked goods.
To pick your own apples you're escorted to the field by a tractor pulling a large cart filled with hay barrels to sit on. I'm sure the kiddies enjoy that!
Then you're free to pick to your hearts content. The main apple variety available/ready to pick that weekend was Ida Red. However, we were able to find some good Red Delicious apples that were super fragrant!
You could also use one of these handy-dandy apple picking thing-a-ma-bobs to get the high up apples!
We ended up walking away with a 1/2 bushel of apples, since they were having a special that day for $10 a 1/2 bushel. That's 50+ apples! Wowzers! After the apple picking we stopped in their small store to pay for our apples and buy a few goodies! I couldn't resist the yummy-looking caramel apples...
Antoine got a fried apple pie. He really liked that it was filled with actual apples and not apple-pie-filling-goo!
After picking apples we went home and I sorted through the apples. I decided the Red Delicious were probably best for eating and the Ida Red we'd use for baking.
The first thing I decided to make with the apples was an apple pie. It seemed like the obvious choice, and I'd never made one before! Crazy, I know! But I actually don't like apple pie. In fact, I don't like baked apples period! I love raw apples, but there's something about the taste and texture of a baked apple that I just can't get on board with. But everyone should make at least one apple pie in their life, right?
I think it went really well. I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com.