The Great Apple Debate
Last week, we discussed some popular pumpkin choices for carving, cooking and baking. With so many varieties, it’s fun to pick and choose. The same is true for another fall favorite—the delicious and versatile apple! Like pumpkins, there are many varieties that orchards and farm stands offer. Whether you’re looking for some crunchy choices to grab and go, or varieties that will make your next apple pie a blue-ribbon winner, read on to learn about some of the best choices for whatever apple ideas you have in mind!
Fresh from the tree
For those of you who just can’t help but to crack into your bag of apples before they make it back to your kitchen, there are lots of options for you. Cortlands are a popular find at any orchard, with tender flesh and sweet-tart taste. The juicy and sweet Macoun is also a great choice, with a perfect balance of sweet and tart. For those of you who enjoy a crisp, crunchy apple, try Empires or Fuji varieties. Other great choices include Gala, McIntosh, Honeycrisp and Red Delicious.
When it comes to baking with apples, there are differences you’ll want to consider before you start slicing and dicing. For pies and apple crisp, a solid apple that will not turn to mush when mixed and baked is important to hold all the ingredients together. Some great choices include Jonagolds, which hold up well in pies and offer a great, sweet flavor. They are sweet and juicy, another plus for pies or crisps! Another great option for pies and baking is the Granny Smith. A sharp and tart apple, its flavor holds up well in a variety of baking options. Other options for baking include Cortland, Newtown Pippin, Rhode Island Greening, Rome Beauty and Winesap.
My personal favorite autumn treat, homemade applesauce, includes a bit of peeling and slicing, but is worth it in the end. It’s best to choose a softer apple variety for sauce because it will cook down nicely and create a good consistency. Braeburns, Cortlands, Ida Reds and Rome apples are all great options for apple sauce. Depending on your tastes, adding ingredients, like extra brown or regular sugar, is a great way to add a little extra flavor to your sauce. Cinnamon is an excellent additive to apple sauce, and when using a sweeter apple, is really the only thing you’ll need to add! Either ground cinnamon, or red hot cinnamon candies, are great options.
No matter what goal you have in mind for your apples, be sure to pick the right one for the job at hand. Not only are apples good for the sweet tooth in your home, but apples make a great addition to a lot of dinner options, as well as toppings for salads and other dishes. When picking your apples, be sure to keep an eye out for any brown spots or pests, and it’s a good idea to always wash your apples before using them in any way.
What are your favorite ways to use apples in the fall? Tell us here!