Here are some other interesting facts about the McIntosh apple:
- The original McIntosh tree was discovered by John McIntosh in Dundela, Ontario in 1811.
- Many other apple varieties stem from the McIntosh including the Cortland, the Lobo, the Melba and the Macoun.
- The original tree was damaged by a house fire but continued to bear fruit on the unaffected side until it died in 1906.
- Every McIntosh tree and apple in the world is a descendent of the original McIntosh tree.
- The McIntosh apple represents approximately 25% of Ontario's total acreage.
- The McIntosh apple is grown in greater quantities than any other apple in Canada and the north-eastern United States combined.
- In recent years, the Ontario apple crop has averaged about 10 million bushels; that's about 12.5 pounds of apples for every Canadian.
- Half of Ontario's apples are sold fresh; the other half is used for processing.
- Ontario exports about 10 per cent of its apples.
On Monday, February 21st the Ontario Apple Growers (OAG) are hosting the Winter Apple Ball at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ontario. The event is in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the McIntosh apple (and its descendants). Events at the ball include: apple treats, arts/crafts and face painting, trivia competitions, dancing, entertainment and birthday cake. There's also going to be an attempt at a Guiness World Record for the most kids bobbing for apples at one time. Free tickets are available online at www.onapples.com (1,000 tickets were made available).
In conjunction with the Ball the Ontario Apple Growers also put out a blogger challenge and I was contacted to participate. The challenge was to come up with the best candy apple recipe.
This is my submission for the contest -- the Ontario Raspberry-Flavored Caramel and Peanut Candy Apple.
To celebrate 'Ontario's' famous apple I thought it would be best to dress it up with other Ontario ingredients - Ontario honey from Clovermead Apiaries, Ontario peanuts from Picard Peanuts, Ontario cream, Ontario raspberries that I had in my freezer, and of course, McIntosh apples. The sprinkles and salt were the only non-Ontario ingredients in my recipe.To start, bring 1 1/2 cups cream to a simmer with a small handful of frozen raspberries and 1/4 tsp of salt. When it begins to steam add 1 1/2 cups of honey and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, lower the temperature to medium and keep stirring the mixture until it a candy thermometer reads 240F (about 20-30 minutes).
Take the caramel off the heat and leave it to cool and thicken. Don't leave it too long though because it'll thicken too much. Once the caramel is at room temperature dip the apples into the caramel and then cover with chopped unsalted peanuts and candy sprinkles. Set the apples onto a platter with waxed paper and refrigerate for half an hour or so.
We cut up two of the apples tonight for dessert after dinner. So good!
Happy Birthday McIntosh!