The Apple Laws

Visit Oak Glen's first family of fruit and cider

We think of the apple as a wholesome fruit: Apples are for teachers, for pie, for keeping the doctor away. But for the Law family of Oak Glen, apples are a livelihood; the family's history of fruit and cider reaches back to 1931.

This unincorporated area, set at a mile-high elevation in the San Bernardino Mountains, produces some of the best apples in Southern California. A day's visit will likely end with your trunk rolling with fruit, holding the promise of pies, applesauce, preserves and more; L.A. canning blogger Kevin West suggests Apple Jam With Honey and Calvados (click here to download the recipe).

The fruit from the Law orchards includes some familiar names–Braeburns, Galas, Jonagolds–but the lesser-known varieties outweigh the well-known, each with a history Alison Law will gladly share with you at Moms Country Orchards. We were fascinated by the tart crunch of the Bellflower ($8 for ¼ peck), a perfect pie apple for which the Southland city of Bellflower is named (as it was built upon acres of orchards).

More apples can be had at Law's Cider Mill, along with what James Law humbly refers to as "the best cider on the mountain." We consider it some of the best we've ever had.

Sharing a parking lot with the mill is the family's time machine of a diner, Law's Oak Glen Coffee Shop, the kind of place where pies go when they die. Have a slice ($5) however you like it: plain, à la mode, with cheese or with hot cinnamon sauce.