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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Chase Sapphire Preferred
To take advantage of Chase Sapphire Preferred’s lucrative offer of 3x points on dining on the first Friday of every month, we regularly round up the best in food and drink. Now that summer is (almost) over, TPG Travel Editor Melanie Wynne gets to the core of nine delicious apple desserts to help you welcome autumn with a smile.
If you’re not able to travel to these eateries, not to worry: Several of the treats below can be ordered online.
1. Apple Cider Doughnuts
Cold Hollow Cider Mill — Waterbury Center, Vermont
I imagine I had you at “doughnuts,” but in case you’re also an apple cider fan, this New England institution truly has your number. Take a break from leaf-peeping and visit the Apple Core Luncheonette/bakery/cider mill to enjoy some of these lightly sweet and piping-hot beauties in person, or order ’em online; cider-doughnuts start at $24.95 for two dozen.
2. Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Four & Twenty Blackbirds — Brooklyn and Orient, New York
With apples from family-run Wilklow Orchards in Highland, New York, this pie is almost as satisfying as a weekend upstate. Dig into the buttery crust, the tart, crunchy apples and sweet caramel with a dash of sea salt, and … you’re welcome. A slice costs $5.75 and a whole pie (that feeds 8-10 people) costs $40. Neither can be ordered online, but you can find them at two locations in Brooklyn (including the Brooklyn Public Library), one on the North Fork of Long Island and on the menu at several restaurants in New York City.
3. Brioche Bread Pudding with Caramel Apples
Tartine Bakery — San Francisco, California
This Mission District cafe is a favorite with Apple employees, and if you’re more into the fruit than the watch, head here for this seasonal bread pudding, wherein dense housemade brioche welcomes a tumble of Pink Lady slices tossed in warm caramel. A small serving is $4.25 and a large is $7. Advance orders aren’t possible; this baby is first-come, first-served.
4. Apple Fritter
Fox’s Donut Den — Nashville, Tennessee
Head to the Hillsboro Plaza Shopping Center and treat yo’self to one of these handheld mounds of heaven, with crispy-edged dough and clusters of Granny Smith apple chunks. Each fritter is only $2.48, and there’s no minimum for credit card charges — but you have the TPG team’s permission to have as many as you’d like.
5. Huguenot Torte
Sugar Bakeshop — Charleston, South Carolina
Looking for a bit more elegance with your apples? Sometimes known as Ozark Pudding, this Charleston specialty is wildly popular at Sugar Bakeshop, which makes its family-style version with walnuts (rather than the usual pecans), Granny Smith apples and a flour-y crust that crumbles like a cookie. It’s offered only made-to-order (and at least 48 hours in advance) as a full pan that serves 14-16 people and costs $24! Deliveries cost $15 extra and can only be made within Charleston’s peninsula.
6. Whole Baked Apple
Piroshky Piroshky — Seattle, Washington
There’s fruit in them thar hills … of pastry. Composed of an apple wrapped in buttery pie crust and baked to a golden brown, this treasure is then crowned with a piping cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of almonds. Each Whole Baked Apple costs $5.25 (there’s no credit-card minimum), and the most tourist-friendly location of the Piroshky Piroshky chain can be found at Pike Place Market.
7. Caramel Apple
Amy’s Gourmet Apples — Cedarburg, Wisconsin
The specialty at this small-town shop is the traditional childhood treat-on-a-stick made with Wisconsin-grown Granny Smith apples, but they don’t stop at simple caramel. You can have your sticky-crunchy snack rolled in peanuts, dipped in chocolate (white, dark or milk) or coated with candy, pretzels and more, and each apple is topped with a satin bow. Cedarburg is a good 20 miles north of Milwaukee, but not to worry — Amy’s ships by mail, ground and two-day express. Apples start at about $16 apiece, and shipping is free when you order in groups of four.
8. Apple Crumb Pie
Dangerously Delicious Pies — Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland
Part cobbler, part pie and all kinds of delicious, this is pie like your mom used to make — or possibly the mom of your dreams. A hint of lemon, a spike of cinnamon and nutmeg and a pile of tart, still-crunchy apples make this a perfect complement to crisp autumn weather. A single slice of Apple Crumb Pie costs $6.50, while a whole pie costs $30. Deliveries by truck within 10 miles of DC are free.
9. The Big Apple Pancake
Bickford’s — Acton, Brockton, Burlington and Woburn, Massachusetts and Salem, New Hampshire
If a Dutch Baby married a German pancake and they had an enormous child, it would be The Big Apple Pancake. Served for breakfast seven days a week at all four locations of this New England institution, this tasty behemoth of sliced apples, cinnamon butter and fluffy pancake batter/dough takes 15 minutes to prepare and costs $9.99 — so throw on a pair of comfy pants and enjoy earning 30 Ultimate Rewards points per pancake!
What’s your favorite autumn-appropriate treat?