Choosing The Right Apple Variety
Ever eaten a mushy apple pie? Often, this is the result of the baker using a soft apple variety that doesnt hold up in the oven. When you use the right kinds of apples in your recipes, your dishes can go from good to delicious!
Amy Traverso, apple expert and author of the award-winning The Apple Lovers Cookbook, shares a couple important tips for apple pies:
What Are Baked Apples
The term baked apples can refer to sliced, chopped, or whole apples that are baked until slightly softened and juicy. Baked apples usually include sugar, butter, and/or cinnamon. This recipe is for whole baked apples, cored and stuffed with buttery brown sugar and cinnamon-spiced oats, and baked until warm and juicy. Were doing it big today.
Are They Soft & mushy
Yes, theyre slightly soft but no, they arent mushy. The best part of this recipe, besides all the flavors, is that you have total control over the texture. Bake for only about 40-45 minutes for slightly soft apples that hold their shape but can still be eaten with a spoon. Add a few more minutes if you like them extra soft or mushy.
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Best Apples For Turnovers And Tarts
Just like with pie, you don’t want your crust to get too soggy when you make apple turnovers, tarts, or tarte Tatin. You can use the same varieties suggested for pie, or try Empire for the perfect sweet-tart balance, or Jonathan or Winesap apples for something with a bit of a spicy bite and an undertone of sweetness. Northern Spy apples have juicy, crispy flesh that can still stand up to cooking, and Pink Lady apples are stunning if displayed on top of a tart .
Apple Pie Secrets To Take Your Pie From Good To Great
Now that you know the best apples to add to your pies, what about having a few more secrets to totally take that taste from good to great?
- Peel your apples before adding them to the pie.
- If you like your apples crispy in your pie, cut them thick so that they dont cook down fully all the way.
- Adding in a bit of butter and cinnamon is always a good idea!
- Just make a plan of topping the crust with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Its so good and delicious!
- If youre not a fan of crust, leave it off! Who says that your apple pie cant be crustless?
Now that you know a few applie pie tips, make certain to get planning your next pie baking day!
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Best Apples For Apple Cakes Crisps And Crumbles
When it comes to choosing the right Apple for baking a crumble, apple Crisp or a cake, you want to pick an apple that is firm to hold its shape while baking.
You can pick either a crisp and tart apple or go for a sweeter variety. The best way to create a nice balance is to simply mix two variety of apples, one tart and one sweet!
The Best Types Of Apples For Baking
So which apples score high on both acidity and firmness?
Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, the two most commonly recommended baking apples, naturally do. They will stay intact even through intensive baking and heat, although their tart flavor can feel a little one-note.
Cortland apples are a red variety that are less tart but hold up well in the oven.
Pink Lady and Honeycrisp apples also retain their shape nicely, with more sweet and fruit-forward flavors.
Mild Galas are another balanced option, equal parts tart and sweet, although they can turn out a bit on the mealy side.
Jonagold, Braeburn, McIntosh, and Winesap apples are some other ones to watch for.
You can also try mixing a blend of these apples for better flavor and texture.
Cuisipro Apple Corer, $6.99 from Williams Sonoma
This handy tools makes quick work of coring a bunch of apples.
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Why You Shouldn’t Cook With The Red Delicious
Shaun Garcia, executive chef of Soby’s New South Cuisine in Greenville, South Carolina learned his early skills watching his grandmother produce beautiful dishes in her restaurant. “All of my family memories revolve around food. I literally grew up in her ‘meat and three’ restaurant and in high school started working in my mom’s bakery.”
He uses apples in his kitchen to make his grandmother’s fried apple hand pies as well as apple galettes and preserves, “For these, I prefer a variety of apples as opposed to just one kind. Each brings something different to the palate.”
The apple he won’t use is the Red Delicious, “The texture just gets really bad. It falls apart and loses flavor when you cook it. The best way to eat a Red Delicious is raw.”
A Brief History Of Apples
Apples are native to Asia and have been cultivated across the world for centuries. Archaeologists have found evidence suggesting that humans have been eating apples for over 8000 years!
European settlers brought seeds and apple tree cuttings to the Americas in the 1600s.
Thanks to the work of John Chapman, who we all know as Johnny Appleseed, apple orchards popped up on farms all over the United States.
During World War II, the phrase as American as apple pie was born.
Even though the apple pie is thought to have originated in Europe in the 14th century, this delicious baked good has come to represent American patriotism.
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Caramel Apple Grilled Mini Monkey Breads
Monkey bread couldn’t be easier with store-bought biscuit dough. We made this recipe so you can take it on the go to your next backyard cookout or tailgate party and then pop it on the grill while everyone is eating. By the time they’re ready for a sweet treat, it will be done!
Get the Recipe: Caramel Apple Grilled Mini Monkey Breads
What’s The Best Apple For Baking
Apples are the perfect fruit for baking. They hold strong, have a great texture and are downright tasty. You can bake them in a classic apple pie, include them in muffins and coffee cake, or even just bake them solo topped with a bit of cinnamon for a healthy treat. A baked apple dessert is by far one of the best things you can show up with at a brunch or a party !
So whats the best apple for baking? There are a few!
Apples on the sweeter end of things are a good choice, as their higher sugar content means you can go a bit easier on added sugars in the recipes. If you want your apples to maintain a bit of crispness, look for firmer apples that will maintain texture under the heat.
An exceptional apple for baking is Piñata®, a newer apple variety available from Stemilt. These apples are extra sweet with a hint of pineapple. The best part? They are one of the best apples to hold up to heat, so when you bite into a slice of pie, youre greeted with a delicious soft-yet-firm texture instead of apple mush.
Though they are difficult to find, Rome apples have long been called the bakers buddy since they have a flavor that intensifies after baking. If youre looking to add a tart flavor to your dish, try Granny Smith apples for a good balance of tangy and tart. Golden Delicious is a classic apple for baking thanks to its thin skin and mellow, sweet flavor. Finally, give Pink Lady apples a try in your baked dishes. They provide a great balance between sweet and tart.
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The Best Apples For Baking
Below is a list of the best apples for baking and cooking. Note that some familiar apple varieties may be missing because they are best eaten fresh. If you have apple varieties in your region that arent listed here, please comment below and let us know what you prefer to use!Best Apples for Pies and CrispsHeres a list of best apple varieties for pie and baked dessert, which has some good geographical diversity in it:
Comparing Apples To Apples
With so many varieties of apples to choose from more than 2,500 in the United States alone no wonder it’s challenging to know which apple to use for what kind of recipe. Let’s compare some of the most popular commercially available apples to help you sort out which ones are the best apples for apple pie, the best apples for applesauce, the best apples for all-purpose baking, and more.
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Inside The Spotty History Of The Red Delicious
In fact, the approach to growing the Red Delicious apple is one of the reasons the apple industry in the United States almost became obsolete. In the 1980s, shoppers didn’t have the different types of apples that we enjoy today. The Red Delicious was the most popular apple, bred for storage, not for taste, a far cry from its original version. When other types began creeping into stores, the popularity of the less tasty Red Delicious waned. By 2000, the apple-growing industry had lost so many customers that it needed government aid. Since then, Red Delicious apple production has dropped by 40 percent as new types of apples took over the taste buds of customers.
Best Apples For Sauces Snacking And Cider
- McIntosh: A dark red heirloom variety with a green background and white flesh. McIntosh apples were discovered in 1811. They are tart, juicy and tender. They breakdown easily, which makes them a favorite apple for snacking, sauces, juice and cider.
- Golden Delicious: This yellow apple is sweet and mellow. Its balanced flavor makes it a great pick for salads and sauces. Its flesh stays white after being cut, making it perfect for a cheese plate, as well.
- Fuji: A yellow and red striped apple that is firm and super sweet. These apples are great for snacking, making sauces and they freeze well. Its low cell density makes it the least desirable on this list for baking since it doesnt keep its shape as well as other varieties.
Apple Varieties For Snacking
According to Samascott, Red Delicious and Fuji, which is a hybrid of a Red Delicious, take too long to cook down enough during the baking process and most people would not enjoy eating a pie made from them. “Both Fuji and Red Delicious are also very sweet but bland, not making for a good flavored baking apple,” says Samascott. Gala apples are too sweet for most desserts and don’t bake as well as other varieties, so save those for snacking, too.
What Characteristics Make An Apple Good For Baking
In this case, you dont want your apples to turn to sauce! I also like to look for apples that have a nice balance of tart and sweet flavors when I make apple baked goods.
Apples that taste delicious when eaten fresh make baked goods delicious too!
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What Makes The Best Apple Pie
Like burgers and pizza, I believe pie to be one of the truly perfect foods. A culinary endpoint that can be improved incrementally, but not fundamentally. The true beauty of a pie comes from that magical interaction between crust and filling. One sweet, tart, and fruity, the other buttery and rich, they complement each other in flavor and texture and create a dish that is so much greater than the sum of its parts. As such, each part deserves respect.
What I want in my apple pie filling is, first and foremost, apples that are completely tender, yet stay in distinct chunks, with just a bit of al dente bite to them. Apples that turn to mush or, worse, are mealy can ruin a good pie for me.
I want those apples to be bound together with just a bare hint of a shiny glazenot a torrent of juice that soaks the bottom crust or a sauce so thick that it becomes gloppy. Apple pie should be sweet but never cloying, with a bare hint of cinnamonthis is an apple pie, after all, not a cinnamon pie. Finally, it should taste overwhelmingly of fresh apples, with a bright, clean flavor.
Caramel Apple Soft Pretzels
Soft pretzels and caramel apples make a delectable pairing in this scratch-made treat. Tart Granny Smith apples are kneaded into sweet yeasted dough, then formed into pretzel shapes and baked to golden-brown perfection. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with a homemade caramel glaze for the ideal contrast of salty and sweet.
Get the Recipe: Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes
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The 5 Best Apples For Baking
Fall is finally here and that means one thing for me: fall baking. Theres nothing better than the smell of warm cinnamon coming from the oven, and apples are a natural choice for baking with spices.
The hard part is picking which of the many varieties of apples to include in your baked goods. Every apple has a slightly different flavor some are better for eating fresh, and some are better for baking. The best baking apples are the ones that keep their shape. Here are five of our favorites.
The 10 Best Apples For Baking
Don’t leave your apple selection to chance for your next baking adventure. Here are the 10 best apples for baking, sure to hold up to the heat of your oven.
Fall baking season is finally here and, for most, that means apples will make an appearance in many desserts. Whether you make an annual trip to the orchard to pick your own or head straight to the supermarket, theres nothing quite like the smell of a freshly baked apple pie, or a big pan of apple crisp straight out of the oven, bubbling away. But with thousands of varieties to choose from, its hard to know which apples should make the cut once your oven gets involved. Some are perfect for eating fresh out of hand or perhaps with a big spoonful of peanut butter but wont stand up to the heat of the oven without turning to mush. Take it from experience: I once had an apple crisp that had turned into applesauce because the wrong variety was used. Still delicious? Sure, but definitely not what I had in mind. Your choice can make or break your recipe but no need to worry, because we’ve rounded up the best apples for baking so you never have to risk a failed dessert again.
Apples certainly are good for you. Theyre packed with fiber, and are cholesterol, sodium, and fat-free, not to mention delicious, too. Plus they’re available year-round while apples are at their peak in the fall season, you can still have that apple dessert just about any time you want it.
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Your Guide To The Best Apples For Baking And Cooking
Learn how to choose the best apple variety for your recipe based on flavor and texture. Plus, get our best apple picking tricks and storage tips.
Not all apples are created equal. They come in many flavors and textures, and react to heat in different ways. That’s why the apples you choose to cook and bake with can make or break your dish. Read on to learn which apples are suited for your recipes.
Overview: How To Make Baked Apples
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