Ah apples! I love their crunch. I love their tang. I love how refreshing they are. To me they are a perfect food: lovely to look at, healthy for the body, delicious by themselves or in dishes. I think Benjamin Franklin was right when he said, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Here’s a small list of some of the more popular apples and their characteristics:
Fuji–red, sweet, slightly crisp. Great eating apple. Gala–red, a bit tart. Great eating apple. Jonathan–red, crunchy texture, sweet-tart flavor that holds up in cooking. Great eating apple. Flavor holds up in cooking. Golden Delicious–yellow, more tart than the Red Delicious, not too crunchy. Red Delicious–red, sweet with barely a hint of tartness, mealy texture. Doesn’t hold up too well as a cooking apple. Granny Smith–green, crunchy, tart, holds its shape well. Excellent for pies, crumbles, and crisps.
One of my favorite breakfast recipes is an oatmeal for the crock pot. Use either Jonathan or Gala apples. First mix together all the ingredients in a greased slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 5-6 hours. Serve with milk or ice cream. The ingredients are: 2 cups milk, 2 TBSP. honey, 1 TBSP. butter (no substitute!), 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 cup dry old-fashioned oats, 1 cup chopped apples, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 2 TBSP. brown sugar. I always add some extra apples myself–I just like it to be apple heavy!
I recently watched an episode of Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.” On it Alton made an apple pie using a tart pan. I thought that was an unusual choice of pan, but it seemed to work really well. The other thing he did that I found interesting was that he used four different types of apples (Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, and Golden Delicious). For some reason it never occurred to me to use a variety of apples. It was a very informative episode, and I will definitely use his tips. You might want to go onto Food Network and find his recipe if you’re going to make an apple pie for the holidays. (It’s called a Super Apple Pie.) Oh, I almost forgot to share this with you, he used a pie bird so that the air could escape and there wouldn’t be empty space between the crust and where the apples begin. Very nifty!
Thinking back, I was very fortunate to grow up in the Adirondack mountains where I had an apple tree right down the road from my house. It was on the neighbor’s property, but all were welcomed to come and pick the apples. I can remember climbing that tree and eating apples till I was full…I suspect that is where my love of apples began, and it occurs to me that I never did thank our neighbor for the plethora of apples that filled my tummy through the years. Oh well, that’s the way it is when you’re a kid…you’re in the moment enjoying the crunch!