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A Guide To Cooking with Apples

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Although apples are available year round at grocery stores, they are typically at their peak in late August through November.

So for the best flavor and nutrition, now’s the time to add apples to your menu.

 

Favorite Ways with Apples

Baked apples make an excellent dessert. Fancier versions of this dish include pastry around the fruit, but a simple method of making baked apple is to core the apple (with an apple corer or a paring knife) then combine about ¼ cup brown sugar, some cinnamon, raisins or currants, and perhaps some nuts – like pecans – in a bowl.

Place the apples in a baking pan.

Fill the hole where the cores used to be with the sugar mixture. Add a dot of butter to the top of each apple. Boil ¾ cup of water and pour it into the baking pan. Bake for about a half hour in a 375 degree F. oven. When done, the apples should be tender, not mushy.

Favorite Ways with Apples

Place each apple on a dish and spoon some of the pan juices over them before serving.

Other dessert ideas include the all-American apple pie, apple crisp, apple strudel, and applesauce. Apples also make a great addition to cakes and cookies.

To add excitement to any bread, try adding apples. Shredded, chopped, diced, or sliced, they add great flavor to almost any bread.

For savory dishes, try roasting apples, or add apple chunks to soup.

Apples are also an excellent addition to stuffing.

For more ideas, check out Our Deer’s apple recipes.

 

Which Variety?

In the United States alone, 2,500 different types of apples are grown. Worldwide, there are about 7,500 varieties available. But even visiting the farmer’s market can make a chef hesitant. Which type of apple to choose?

As Greg and Dorothy Patent write in their book A is for Apple, there are no hard-fast rules about selecting apples for cooking. However, some general recommendations can make shopping much easier; use them as a guide, but let your own taste buds make the ultimate decision.

For apple pie, Braeburn, Empire, Cox’s Orange Pippen, Jonathan, Rhose Island Greening, and Northern Spy are often selected, providing better flavor than the oft-used Golden Delicious or Granny Smith. McIntosh apples are a poor choice for pies or tarts, because they tend to be too mushy.

For apple cakes and crisps, the same apples favored for apple pie are good choices.

For apple butter, applesauce or apple puree, try early varieties often not popular for eating whole. They can be mushy inside, but their flavor and texture are great for this sort of recipe. Good examples include Transparent and Lodi. Late-season apples are also a good choice. Jonathan, Gravenstein, Northern Spy, Winesap, and McIntosh.

Which Variety?

For stuffings with apples, choose dense, well-flavored fruit, like Roxbury Russet, Winesap, or Ashmeal’s Kernal.

For apple chutneys or salsas containing apples, choose firm, tart apples like Granny Smith, Rhode Island Greening, or Baldwin.

For making apple juice or cider, find the most flavorful apples available. Sweeter apples are often preferred for juice, including Red Delicious and Golden Delicious. For a tarter taste – especially for cider – try Granny Smith, Jonathan, Rome, or Winesap. Or, use a mixture of tart and sweet apples.

Baked apples mustn’t fall apart in the oven. This makes Rome apples an ideal choice. Other good choices for baking include Gala, Gravenstein, Braeburn, and Oren. Avoid McIntosh for the same reason you’ll want to avoid it in pies: It will be too mushy.

For more information on storing, buying, and preparing apples, see the blog post : A Few Tips About Choosing, Storing and Preparing Apples

 

Check out the video version of this article on YouTube

 

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