Savor Michigan’s Summer Sweets with Apple and Peach Dishes

By: Karen Dybis | September 16, 2020
Apples in the D

Michigan is known for its agricultural prowess, growing some of the most luscious fruits and vegetables not only in the Midwest but across the nation. This summer, the crops of apples and peaches were among the state’s best so far. 

Apple crops were bountiful in 2020 despite challenges posed due to the coronavirus pandemic to farmers, keeping the numbers in line with 2019 crops. Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, said Michigan’s official crop is estimated at 22.5 million bushels (946 million pounds) of apples this year. 

Smith noted that Michigan is the nation’s third largest producer of apples. There are more than 14.9 million apple trees covering 34,500 acres on 775 family-run farms in Michigan. Michigan Apples are typically shipped from mid-August all the way through the following June. Michigan Apple packers and shippers work throughout the year to bring Michigan Apples to more than 30 states and 18 countries worldwide.

Chef Paul Penney, who works with the Michigan Apple Committee on in-store demos, conventions and in recipe development, said that Michigan apples are great to cook with throughout the year. 

“They each have a flavor profile that adds so much dimension to my dishes, I love to use several types,” Penney said. “When doing a braised pork dish, you look for sweet and sour notes that Fuji, Honeycrisps can bring. Jonamacs add a little extra tang. Golden Delicious adds a sweet sauciness to help thicken the dish.”

Here are five restaurants around Metro Detroit that also love to cook with apples and peaches when they’re ripe and ready.

Nosh Pit

The best thing about eating from the Nosh Pit is that the food is not only delicious but good for you. Try the David Sandwich, a vegan delight that features caramelized onion, tangy green apple, vegan cheese and an aioli spread. This sandwich also can be prepared gluten-free if you want that as an option. Another option is the Kaz Burger: A house-made veggie patty topped with aioli, granny smith apples, vegan cheese and served on a bun.


Sweet Potato Sensations

Dessert items made this restaurant famous, but its savory dishes are just as tasty. Much of the menu centers around sweet potatoes, which are prepared with love and attention to detail. But for the fruit fans, there’s lots to try. If you have a sweet tooth, then you need to try Miss Effie Mae’s cobblers, which comes both in peach or apple. 

Sister Pie

This bakery also offers a unique combination of sweet and savory in all of its dishes, including dessert. There is salt on the cookies and zucchini in the muffins – all of which you’d be happy to eat on any day of the week. Peach fans should look for the seasonal ice-cream sandwich, which features a “golden oatie” crust with peach ice cream in the center. All of the proceeds from this item go toward the Detroit Justice Center as well. 

Achatz Pies

This pie shop has great pies in any flavor, but its apple and peach offerings will knock your proverbial socks off. One of its newest offerings is Peachy Keen Cream, which is made from fresh Michigan peaches that cover its pure vanilla pastry cream with whipped cream and its signature crumb topping. 

Slows Bar BQ

You may have a hard time looking away from the smoky, rich barbecue offerings at this Detroit mainstay, but then you’d miss the brunch and sweet menu. Try the Apple Cake, which is a hearty breakfast cake with Honeycrisp apples and a house-whipped cream. There’s also the apple BBQ sauce, which you can order on anything as well as take home in huge jars for use on everything else you like to eat.