Apple of my pie

If you’ve ever baked an apple pie, you know that the variety you choose matters. You don’t exactly want applesauce pie, do you?

So give a cheer for Gravenstein Apple Month. Heirloom Gravensteins are revered among connoisseurs as among the best eating and baking apples. Unfortunately, the Gravenstein is on Slow Food USA’s “US Ark of Taste,” a catalog of more than 200 endangered American foods.

Local pie-baker extraordinaire Kira O’Donnell recently used Gravensteins in a heavenly tart with walnut frangipani. “I was ecstatic to discover the season’s first Gravenstein apples [grown by Smit Orchards in Linden] at the farmers’ market,” she said. “This fabulous heirloom apple is the full package: sweet, crispy, tart and delicious.”

So get yourself down to the farmers’ market and then the Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastopol ( August 14-15, and pick up a peck or two.