Hampton’s Hilltop Orchard: Orchard hobby branches into family business

In 2007, Mike and Julie Morgan purchased Hampton’s Hilltop Orchard from Julie’s parents, Don and Carol Hampton. Four years earlier, the Hamptons had begun growing apples as a retirement hobby. Even now, Carol continues to cook for the family and Don offers apple-tending advice.
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The farm on a hill west of Higbee, Missouri, is populated with about 300 Jonathan, Gala, UltraGold, Zestar, Fuji, and Suncrisp semi-dwarf apple trees. The Morgans also tend a small apiary with four honeybee hives, and they sell honey on the farm. Recently, the Morgan family has added blackberries to their fruit production.IMG_0669

For the past 9 years, the Morgans have sold most of their apples at the Columbia Farmers Market. When apples are particularly abundant, they also invite people to come out to the farm to pick their own fruit.IMG_5148

During apple season, from Labor Day until the end of October, the Morgan’s tent is a particularly busy area at the Columbia Farmers Market. “We like introducing customers to new apple varieties they have never tried, and to the superior flavor of a tree ripe, local apple that cannot be found in a grocery store,” Mike said, and they make sure their customers “get a fair price for our product.”

This is Mike Morgan’s favorite pie, which was developed by his mother-in-law, Carol Hampton, over many years of testing and tasting. The tart granny smith flavor balances well with the sweet Fuji apples.

Print Recipe
HAMPTON’S HILLTOP ORCHARD APPLE PIE
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus 1-teaspoon sugar for crust
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 pounds granny smith apples peeled
  • 2 pounds Fuji apples peeled
  • 2 tablespoons sweet butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1-tablespoon water
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus 1-teaspoon sugar for crust
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 pounds granny smith apples peeled
  • 2 pounds Fuji apples peeled
  • 2 tablespoons sweet butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1-tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll both piecrusts slightly to 12 inches. Fit bottom crust into 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, prick bottom with fork, refrigerate while making filling. In a small bowl, blend ½ cup sugar, ½ cup light brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and cloves. Set aside. Cut peeled apples into ½-inch pieces. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add apples, lemon juice and sugar mixture. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens. Cool on rack for 10 minutes. Pour cooled apple mixture into prepared crust-lined pie plate. Top with the second piecrust. Cut a 1-inch slit in center, crimp and flute the edges. Brush pie with egg mixture and sprinkle top with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Cover pie with foil if the crust browns too quickly. Cool at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.
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