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Using Up the Apples


tryska
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and for some reason - i've just rediscovered the joys of apple season, which i haven't really appreciated since i was a kid in Upstate New York.

I'm all about eating out of hand at the moment, and thankfully my local farmer's market has a large variety.

I used to be a strictly red delicious and granny smith girl - but red delicious seem to have gotten nasty sometime since the last time I ate them.

I definitely prefer a crisp apple - and I tried Fujis and Honeycrisps for the first time this year - they are definitely my favorites. Galas are okay, but not quite crisp enough for me.

What are your favorites, and does anyone have suggestions for other crisp apples to try?

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I also grew up in upstate NY...the MacIntosh and Cortland were my favorites as a kid and still are. We had lots of orchards around us and could easily get them right off the tree.

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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Macs and Courtlands used to be my favorites too - but soemwhere along the line they became more mealy than tasty and I stopped trying to enjoy them. (it might have been just the ones that get shipped). macintoshes are still the best for cider and pies in my book tho.

I think that's why i like the Honeycrisp - it's flavor is reminiscent of mac to me. Like a cross between a mac and a red delicious.

and i guess my taste buds are on target....meet honeycrisp's folks:

http://www.honeycrisp.org/herit.htm

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So many good choices. In New York, my favourite is probably the Macoun; don't know why they aren't grown in Quebec. A local early apple I really enjoy is the Lobo, though only within hours of picking. Delightful for eating out of hand and cooking is the locally grown Yellow Delicious, which is nothing like the bland mass-market imported YDs. (For years I wondered why French chefs often specified YDs in their recipes; now I understand.) Here in Quebec, Northern Spy and Winesap are rare but welcome treats, and that goes double for Cox's Orange Pippin.

edit: spelling, clarity

Edited by carswell (log)
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Honeycrisps. Holy crap. Crunchy, juicy, sweet and winey with an edge of tartness. Combine with Granny Smiths and you've got one hell of a pie.

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bergerka - what a great idea......i might have to start baking this weekend. mind you it's still in the mid-80s around here, so it doesn't feel like the right time - but if the apples think it's the season, then it's the season.

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While only a few supermarkets may carry them, Winesaps (a.k.a. Stayman Winesaps) are hardly elusive, at least in the Northeast and MidAtlantic. It ties with the Macoun as my favorite commercial dessert apple, i.e., an apple you can eat out-of-hand. The Macoun's flesh is slightly soft, but still sufficient crispy; its clean, sweet taste, however, is hard to beat.

Later in the season (they usually show up in November) is the Arkansas Black. A small, sweet apple, it's primary virtue is that it's a "keeper". I can buy them in November and they are still hard and sweet in February, so long as they are refrigerated or kept in the cold. Its flavor is a bit more one-dimensional, but it is still an excellent apple, especially in December, January and February. Again, you won't find these in any supermarket, but "blacks" (there are other varieties beyond Arkansas which have similar properties) are becoming more popular with orchards.

Considerably more elusive is my ultimate favorite dessert apple, the Cox Orange Pippin, which Carswell noted. It's really not grown commercially in the U.S. because it is not a particularly productive variety; it is, however, the most popular variety in the U.K. -- they import them from South Africa in the off season, much as we bring in fruit from Chile. A few orchards do have Cox Orange Pippins, but at this point in time, they're pretty much all gone. They tend to be ready to pick in mid to late September in New York and New England. (I've yet to find them in Pennsylvania or NJ, but I'm still looking).

For pies my favorite is the Rhode Island Greening, though Northern Spy (I just picked up a bag during a trip to central Maine two weeks ago) are also excellent. If you can find quince, it's nice to add one to a half dozen or so apples in a pie because the quince's intense pectin reserves help "jell" the pie. Then again, I've made pies with Winesaps and Grandma Smiths and they work quite nicely.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Honey Crisp for out of hand eating everytime. They have brought me back to apples in the raw form.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Later in the season (they usually show up in November) is the Arkansas Black. A small, sweet apple, it's primary virtue is that it's a "keeper". I can buy them in November and they are still hard and sweet in February, so long as they are refrigerated or kept in the cold. Its flavor is a bit more one-dimensional, but it is still an excellent apple, especially in December, January and February. Again, you won't find these in any supermarket, but  "blacks" (there are other varieties beyond Arkansas which have similar properties) are becoming more popular with orchards.

Our local supermarkets carry the Arkansas Black - definitely a delicious apple. I grew up loving Macouns - sadly, they aren't available here in the midwest. Just tried a new variety today, and it was awesome, but I've forgotten the name! I'll need to head back to the market to check it out. It was huge, crisp and tart-sweet. Perfect.

I love apples out of hand, but only cut into wedges. I don't like eating them whole. I often spread some peanut butter on them.

Lately, I've been making baked apples for a late night snack.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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I like scooping peanut butter with a wedge o' apple, too.

I just finished an awesome granny smith liberally sprinkled with salt.

Am I the only one who likes that? Been eating them

that way since I was a kid (and I rarely salt any other food!).

Interesting about the debate over the best apple to use in a pie.

I always hear it's the granny smith. Do most others agree?

And why is that? Taste? Texture? How they hold up?

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Bought Winesaps at the farmers market in Aliso Viejo, also available at Laguna Beach. Along with another that I forgot to note the name of - but something small, crisp, and tart.

(Next to where I am staying, they have an abundance of orange, lemon, lime, kumquat, and pomegranates hanging in the trees!) (Oh, this is all Southern California)

I'm surprised macs and honeycrisp are mentioned in the same breathe - I find macs far more tender/fragile, juicy in a refreshing style, with a hint of strawberry, eaten fresh, whereas honeycrisps are big ol' workhorses, sweet but more crunchy - I can imagine them baked.

Try Pink Lady apples, especially for baking. And think about playing with baking fresh quince if you want something special.

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These honeycrips sound intriguing. I wish I could find them in Austin.

Crispins are my favorite. Very crisp, a bit tart. I, too, prize crispness.

Central Market should carry them, or at least they do here in Dallas. At twice the price of the other apples. :angry:

So, honeycrisps are a fave of mine, as are Braeburns.

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This week I bought Fujis and they are crisp and delicious. In order to get Winesaps or Arkansas Blacks here I have to make a trip to the apple ranch which is always nice since you can get all sorts of home made type pies and pastries and one of the best Quiche Lorraines I've ever tasted.

I absolutely detest the Delicious sold in the markets although the ones from my tree are crisp and nice and not a bit mealy. (Yuk)

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These honeycrips sound intriguing. I wish I could find them in Austin.

Central Market [and probably HEB] has had them steadily - but I don't like paying 2.50 a pound for an apple unless it's organic - my favorite always-available eating apple is the Pink Lady

EDIT: oops posted before I finished the thread....

Edited by memesuze (log)
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I'll put in another vote for the honeycrisps. My in-laws grow apples and I brought a bunch of honeycrisps to work and shared them. Everyone loved them. A few days later one of them came up to me and said she was now addicted to them and was eating five of them per day. They're good for pies and apple crisp/crumble, too.

I'd also say that a fuji with watercore is most excellent, but you can't get those in the store.

M. Thomas

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I'd also say that a fuji with watercore is most excellent, but you can't get those in the store.

please explain.

When apples sit on the tree for a while after they ripen, they continue converting starch to sugar. At the stage called "watercore" the core of the apple becomes translucent and the apple is exceptionally juicy and sweet. Unfortunately, at this point the apple is too ripe to ship. As far as sales go, watercore is considered a blight and they are economically worthless (at least through a distributor). But this is the point at which they are most delicious. So, watercore is not a blight as in a disease, but it means that the apples won't hold up to rigors of shipping, so distributors won't accept them. The difference between a watercore fuji and one from the store is amazing.

M. Thomas

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Macs and Courtlands used to be my favorites too - but soemwhere along the line they became more mealy than tasty and I stopped trying to enjoy them.  (it might have been just the ones that get shipped).  macintoshes are still the best for cider and pies in my book tho.

I think that's why i like the Honeycrisp - it's flavor is reminiscent of mac to me.  Like a cross between a mac and a red delicious. 

and i guess my taste buds are on target....meet honeycrisp's folks:

http://www.honeycrisp.org/herit.htm

I understand what you mean that they can get mealy. I hardly ever by them in the grocery store, but instead try to get them at a farmers market or direct from the orchard. Fall is my favorite season, and one of the reasons is the first bite into a great Mac.

We had some really good honeycrisps a couple of weeks ago also. Thanks to budrichard for suggesting Brightonwood Orchards. www.brightonwoodsorchard.com

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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Currently crunching on a Jonagold. I love Fujis too, but I didn't see them at my greenmarket this week.

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

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hmm..i'll have to look for Pink Lady's as well. and maybe check out soem of the North Georgia Orchards - i think we grow apples here. I know there's apple bread to be had at certain times of year, so i'm presuming there are orchards.

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