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Apples, Apples, Apples

Susan Sanders-Kinzel

I am a third generation Washington State native. We are famous for our apples and they have been always a staple around our house. From apple slices for snacking, through fruit salad and apple cider, and all the way to apple pie, apples are one of the most versatile fruits.

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Photo of red apples.

Things have changed considerably since I was a child. We had an apple machine in my school. At that time, no Coke or Pepsi machines were allowed so we were happy to be able to buy a juicy apple.

Apples are always best when they are as fresh as possible. By spring, most of the apples in my childhood tasted past their prime. The only exception to this are Fuji apples which actually improve in flavor in long term storage.

Store apples in a cool dry place. Make sure to store only fruit in good condition with no bruises or holes. If you individually wrap each apple in waxed paper, they will last far into the winter.

Apples come in many varieties, including old heirloom trees and new hybrid commercial orchardist trees. If you have access to your own apple trees be sure to take advantage of the harvest to eat fresh, make applesauce or freeze slices for winter pies.

We'll discuss the best varieties of apples for different purposes and then look at some recipes for getting the most from the apples you have.

Eating Apples: Best for eating fresh, uncooked, out of hand, in slices or in salads

  • Gala - These are my personal favorite
  • Pippins
  • Empire
  • Red Delicious - very sweet and a favorite of children. Good when near harvest time. They get mealy after long storage.
  • Golden Delicious
  • Granny Smith
  • Fuji
  • Braeburn
  • Applesauce Apples: These are apples that break down easily when cooked.

  • Gravenstein - These are what I consider the very best applesauce apple. They are not easy to find in some areas and need to be cooked up soon after harvest. These are not good keepers.
  • Granny Smith
  • Braeburn
  • Winesap
  • McIntosh
  • Northern Spy
  • Baking Apples: a good baking apple is one that will still hold it's shape after it is baked

  • Ida Red
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Braeburn
  • Cortlands
  • Rome Beauties
  • Jonathans
  • Baldwins
  • Any apple good for baking will make an excellent pie or crisp.


    Recipes:

    Quick Baked Apples

    Ingredients

    Take an apple, wash then carefully remove the core with an apple corer or thin knife. Leave the peel on.

    Directions

    Put in a microwave safe bowl or cup. Cook in the microwave for 2 minutes at high heat. Top with milk, cream or ice cream. Sweeten to taste.


    Fancy Baked Apples

    If you are cooking for more than one or two, this is a great recipe for baked apples.

    Prepare one apple for each person. Wash then carefully remove the core with an apple corer or thin knife.

    (enough for 4 apples)

    Ingredients

    • Mix 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup raisins
    • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
    • 2 Tbs. Butter

    Directions

    Mix the butter and brown sugar until well mixed. Add raisins and nuts and mix in.

    Put apples in a baking dish then take the mixture and stuff into the core area of the apples.

    Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 - 45 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork. Great served with milk, cream or ice cream. Serve warm for best flavor.


    Here are some salad recipes sent in by a reader:

    Apple Waldorf Salad

    Makes 4 servings

    Ready in: 20 Minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 3 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
    • 1 cup thinly sliced celery
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    • 1/2 cup raisins

    Directions

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Stir in the apples, celery, walnuts and raisins. Chill until ready to serve.


    Chicken Fruit and Pasta Salad

    Makes 10 to 12 servings

    Ingredients

    • 4 cups cooked pasta
    • 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat
    • 5 stalks celery, diced
    • 2 large apples - peeled, cored and chopped
    • 1 cup seedless grapes, halved
    • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tablespoons milk
    • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 pinch ground black pepper

    Directions

    Chill pasta and chicken thoroughly. Mix chicken, celery, apples, grapes and pasta in large bowl. Mix together the mayonnaise, milk, sugar, salt and pepper. Combine mayonnaise and chicken mixtures and toss. Store in the refrigerator.


    Here is another great recipe from Allrecipes.com, which sounds absolutely delicious. http://www.allrecipes.com

    Darra's Famous Tuna Waldorf Salad Sandwich Filling

    Makes 4 servings

    Ready in: 20 Minutes

    Tired of boring tuna salad? You'll love this one!

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 Tbsp. prepared Dijon-style mustard
    • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 (6-oz.) can oil-packed tuna
    • 1 shallot, finely chopped
    • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
    • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    • 1/2 cup diced celery
    • 1 tsp. sweet pickle relish
    • 4 large croissants
    • 4 leaves lettuce
    • 4 slices Swiss cheese

    Directions

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder, salt and pepper. Add tuna, shallot, apple, walnuts, celery and pickle relish and toss until all ingredients are coated with dressing.

    Lightly toast the croissants. Split in half, place a lettuce leaf on the bottom half of the croissant and fill with tuna salad. Top with a slice of Swiss cheese and the top half of the croissant. Serve with a dill pickle and potato chips. Bon appetit!

    About The Author: Susan Sanders-Kinzel is the editor of the ThriftyFun News. ThriftyFun
    grew out of a weekly Ezine, "The Coupon Clipper" which originated in
    1998.

    Comments

    October 2, 20030 found this helpful

    I have always liked Cortlands and McIntosh apples for pies and applesauce. I grew up in the south part of NY state, and both were plentiful each fall. Now that I'm living in FL, I don't see Cortlands very often, though McIntosh are in the stores here.

    When baking apple pies, I will make the crust, put in a bit of margarine or butter, sliced apples, sugar, and LOTS of cinnamon. Occasionally, for a change, I will add a cup of raisins (I pre-soak in water and drain them). I mix them through the apples. Also, I sometimes add a tablespoon of vanilla to the apples for a slightly different taste.

    - Sharon Baker

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