Perhaps the most common tree fruit, apples are round or tapered, have a thin skin, and a core. They're red,yellow,or green and can be tart or sweet. They can also be mealy, juicy, or crisp. While apples are available year round, they're at their peak September through November. You should look for apples that have smooth skins with out bruises. The apple variety you choose should depend on what you'll be using the apple for.
Apples can be eaten or made into apple juice, apple cider, applejack, applesauce, apple pie filling, apple butter and apple jam or jelly. Apples can also be canned, dried, and sliced or chopped.
Varieties Of Apples
There are some 7,000 known varieties of apples in the world today. Of course, only a few of these are available to most shoppers. Red Delicious, Mackintosh, And Granny Smith are popular varieties of apples.
Storage Of Apples
Apples will ripen very quickly at room temperature, so refrigerate them in the cold drawer of your refrigerator. Only if you plan to eat them soon after you purchase them should you store them at room temperature.
Peel your apples with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler. Special apple corers are available to remove apple cores quickly and easily.
You can boil down apple juice or cider to a thick syrup and use it as a healthy low calorie alternative to jams, jelly, or regular syrup.
Apple Butter is a thick spread made by cooking apples, sugar, spices, and sometimes cider. Southerners slather apple butter onto pancakes and hot biscuits. How long to cook is very important. When done your apple butter should cling to the spoon, although this can depend on how juicy your apples are.
Oven Apple Butter
1. Eight Granny Smith Apples Peeled And Diced.
2. One Cup Apple Juice.
3. One Cup White Granulated Sugar.
4. One Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon.
Cook your apples and juice in a Dutch Oven over medium heat thirty minutes or until your apples are tender. You want to stir until your apples are mashed. Stir in your sugar and cinnamon.
Pour your apple mixture into a lightly greased baking dish. Now you will want to bake uncovered at 275 degrees for two hours. Stir about every thirty minutes.
Let it cool and you'll have wonderful apple butter.
Applesauce is a mixture of apples, sugar, and sometimes spices cooked to a smooth or chunky puree. When making applesauce, select tart, juicy all purpose apples. Granny Smith apples make excellent applesauce. If you want to end up with chunky applesauce, add the sugar after the apples are cooked. Adding the sugar after the apples and mashing it all with a potato masher yields a smoother apple sauce.
For a simple fat substitute in baked goods, use applesauce measure for measure to replace the oil in your recipe.
Granny Smith Apple Pie
1. One And One Half Packages Refrigerated Pie Crusts.
2. Six Medium Granny Smith Apples Peeled, Cored And Diced.
3. One And One Half Tablespoons Lemon Juice.
4. Three Fourths Cup Light Brown Sugar.
5. One Half Cup White Granulated Sugar.
6. One Third Cup All Purpose Flour.
7. One Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon.
8. One Level Teaspoon Nutmeg.
Instructions For Making Your Granny Smith Apple Pie.
Put your full pie crust into a pie pan that you have sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Cut slits into the bottom of the pie dough.
Toss together your apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Combine your brown sugar and remaining four ingredients and sprinkle over the apple mixture. Then toss to coat well.
Pour into the prepared pie crust.
Roll out the remaining pie crust and place over the filling in the pie pan. Fold the edges under and crimp. Cut slits in the top for steam to escape.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 35 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. You'll have a wonderful apple pie that will be just perfect served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
How About Some Delicious Apple Dumplings