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Apple Basics and Recipes

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Tags: baking, fall

Autumn’s crisp air, bright leaves, and cozy sweaters mean it’s time to indulge in some of our favorite apple recipes. Whether you’re picking your own or just picking them up at the store, use these great apple tips to make your next bite your best. So go ahead—celebrate the fall harvest and bake yourself a pie!

Apple Season & Varieties
Apple season begins in late-August and lasts through mid-November, with its peak hitting in October. Apples always taste best and are cheaper in the fall months.

How to Store
Store your apples in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Apples will quickly lose their crisp texture if stored out at room temperature in a fruit bowl. They keep very well in cold storage, which is why they’re available year round.

An Apple a Day
You know what they say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are not only delicious, but chock-full of nutrients. They’re a great source of soluble fiber, potassium, and low in calories, making them the perfect after-school snack.

How to Choose
Pick apples that feel heavy for their size, are firm to the touch, and have some shine to them. Avoid apples with soft spots and bruises.

Knowing What Works Best
The most commonly available types of apples sold in America are McIntosh, Golden and Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Gala. However, there are hundreds of varieties of apples grown in orchards all over the states, available for picking or at your local Farmer’s market.

Some apple varieties, or combinations of varieties, work better than others for certain recipes. For instance, in Paula’s Apple Pie recipe, she uses a mixture of McIntosh and Granny Smith apples. This combination of a tart flavor and firm texture of the Granny Smith apples are a nice contrast to the softer but sweeter McIntosh apples.

The combination of the two results in a sweet, well textured pie. Follow this classic combination of tart and sweet apples for baking your pies and crisps.

SWEET: Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Jonagold, McIntosh
TART: Granny Smith (excellent and always easy to find), Empire, Cortland

Eating Out of Hand
The best apples for eating out of hand are sweet, juicy apples with a soft skin. These apples are not meant for baking on their own, as they are too soft and will cook down to mush, unless they are baked in combination with a firmer apple. Red Delicious and McIntosh are examples of good apples to eat out of hand.

All-Purpose Apples
Some apples work well for baking, eating out of hand, and for applesauce.

Gala apples, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Cortland, and Granny Smith are great all-purpose apples that can be used for just about anything.

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