Did you go apple picking this year? Our family takes an annual ride out to a local apple orchard, not because we can’t get enough of the sweet (or tart) fruit, but because my 2-year-old delights in yanking apples from their branches and toting them around in a little bag. The only problem is we never leave with just her little bag. We end up getting at least a bushel of mixed apples (from Honeycrisp to Granny Smith) and then I am faced with the challenge of creating dishes with them that the whole family will eat (see two of our favorite recipes below).
If you have just retruned from an orchard you may find the following chart handy. The University of Illinois Extension Service and Hormel Foods websites have extensive information on apples. The Hormel site has a useful chart, which illustrates which apples are good for salads, cooking, baking or pie-making as well as a table of equivalents that tells you such things as how many apples it takes to make 4 cups of slices.
Golden Delicious: The “all purpose” cooking apple retains its shape and rich, mellow flavor when baked or cooked. Its skin is so tender and thin that it doesn’t require peeling for most recipes. Golden Delicious is very good in fresh salads and freezes well.
Fuji: Its spicy, crisp sweetness and firm flesh make it an excellent fresh eating apple. It’s also good in baking or applesauce and stores well.
Granny Smith: The crisp, mouth-watering tartness really comes through when baked or sautéed; excellent with pork or chicken.
Honeycrisp: With a sweet yet slightly tart flavor, it is excellent for salads, baking, cooking or for eating as a snack.
Red Delicious: Deliciously sweet and juicy, it’s good to eat out of hand. It does not work well for cooking.
You can read the complete list by clicking here.
Now that you know a thing or two about apples you may consider trying these two very simple recipes (I’m all about simplicity) that will likely appeal to even the pickiest eaters in your family.
Fuji Apple Salad
1/2 cup sugar
1 (3-ounce) package lemon gelatin
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2-1/2 cups hot water
3 Fuji apples, peeled and diced
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple (undrained)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (do not use reduced-fat or no-fat cream cheese)
1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
Mix together sugar, lemon gelatin and hot water; place in refrigerator.
Mix apples with pineapple.
In large bowl, blend cream cheese with heavy cream. Add apple mixture and gelatin mixture. Pour into a 13-by-9-inch pan and chill until firm.
Fresh Apple Cake
4 large apples
2 cups flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup salad oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 13-by-9-inch pan. Pare, core, and dice apples.
In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Mix in apples and nuts. Put in prepared pan; bake 45 minutes or until done.