Gala, Honeycrisp, Macintosh, Empire, Ambrosia…the varieties are endless when it comes to apples. But nothing says “fall” like hot apple crumble, fresh baked pie, or packing your kid’s lunch with an apple for snack-time.
The wonderful thing about apples, aside from their aroma, is that there is a variety to suit everyone’s taste. Whether you like the sweet, slightly spicy Gala apple or the sweet Ambrosia without the acidity, you’re sure to find one for every occasion or dish.
How to Pick an Apple:
You’ll want to select firm and vibrantly coloured apples that are free from bruises or punctures, have a fresh aroma, and a tight skin.
Depending on how you are using your apples, you’ll want to select the type accordingly. For example, are you using them to eat fresh, bake or cook with? Macintosh and Gala are great all purpose apples and can be used for any of the above, while Honeycrisp are amazing to eat fresh.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet:
Gala – sweet, fragrant, and crisp – great raw and in salads, pies, and tarts
Honey Crisp – sweet, juicy, and crisp – great raw
Macintosh – Mildly tart, juicy but sweetens as it ripens – great raw, in salads, pie, sauce, and for baking
Empire – slightly tart, juicy, and crisp – great raw, in salads, and sauces
Ambrosia – sweet, crisp, low acidity – great raw and in salads
How to Store Apples:
You can store them in a cool, dark place or keep them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.
How to Prepare Apples:
Whether baking, caramelizing, deep-frying (apple fritters can’t be beat!), grilling, poaching, eating fresh, sautéing, or adding to a salad, the uses really are endless.
If you are slicing apples to eat fresh, you’ll want to toss them with a bit of lemon or lime juice or acidulated water (1 cup water to 1 teaspoon lemon juice). This will maintain the colour if you are not eating them right away.
To peel an apple, the best technique is to use a vegetable peeler over a knife; a knife will take away too much of the juicy flesh.
- It takes four apples to make a glass of pure apple juice.
- Three medium apples equal about 1 lb. (500 g).
- One medium apple yields about 1/4 cup (175 mL) of sliced apples.
Kary’s Apple Tips:
- Apples will keep longer if they don’t touch each other.
- A U-shaped peeler works best for peeling apples.
- Larger apples can be mealier than small ones.
- Cooked apples go very well with meat such as pork and chicken, as well as vegetables like potatoes and cabbage.
- If you don’t have a melon baller to core an apple, use a measuring spoon – a ½ teaspoon works best.
- Apples that may be a little older can be revived! Just chop them into large chunks, coat with cold apple juice and pop them in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Apples produce a natural ethylene gas that speeds the ripening of other fruits. Just place an apple in a paper bag with the fruits you’d like to ripen, pierce a few holes in the bag, and in 2-3 days they will be ripened.
What Do Apples go well with?
Apricots, cabbage, caramel, cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, custard, ginger, honey, lemon, pecans, oatmeal, onions, peanut butter, pork, raisins, rum, sugar, sweet potato, vanilla, and celery.
Do you like Apple Pie, but not how long it takes to make it?
This recipe for Apple Turnovers has all the flavours of apple pie without the work. Try it, you’ll love it.