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Ernest Hemingway's Favorite Apple--Michigan's Jonathan

Ever since the famous author Ernest Hemingway expressed his love of the Jonathan apple in the book, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940, Hemingway), Michigan's Jonathan apple has always been known as the Hemingway apple. After spending twenty-two summers in northern Michigan, Hemingway's love for this apple variety was used to describe beauty in the world while writing about the travesties of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s...

“This is the smell I love…. a Jonathan apple as you bit into it? Or a cider mill in the grinding….”

Jonathan apples are the most tart-and-tangy variety grown in Michigan! This crimson-red apple is truly a northern apple, where cool nights bring out its best flavor profile. Jonathan apples also blend well with other apple varieties in applesauce, scalloped apple dishes, and condiments. Many, like Hemingway, loved to eat them fresh off the tree.

Hemingway's Simple Apple Pie (one crust option)


  • 5 cups peeled and sliced (1/2 inch) Jonathan apples

  • 1 (9-inch) pie crust (single crust)

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 3/4 cup flour

  • 1/3 cup butter


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange apples in a pie shell. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with cinnamon; sprinkle over apples. Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the flour in a small bowl; cut in butter until mixture forms pebble-sized crumbs. Sprinkle over the apple mixture. Bake for 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.


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