In Season: Fall Produce-Apples

Tips & Fun Facts:

  • Apples are in the Rosaceae (rose) family, along with almonds, cherries, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, and strawberries.
  • The only apples native to North America are crab apples.
  • Apple trees must cross-pollinate in order to produce fruit; therefore, they need to be planted within approximately 100 feet of another cultivated apple tree variety, crab apple tree, or wild apple tree.
  • Apples are versatile and can be eaten raw, baked, dried, and cooked.  They can also be made into cider, vinegar, jam and more!
  • There are many varieties of apples that range in sweetness and tartness.  Try a taste test of different varieties.
  • Suggested apple variety uses:
    • Out of hand: firm, crisp, and juicy—Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Liberty, McIntosh, and Red Delicious.
    • Pie & oven baking: dry, sweet, and slightly acidic—Cortland, Empire, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, and Idared.
    • Applesauce: an apple that doesn’t easily discolor—Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Idared, Jonagold, and McIntosh.
    • Jelly: barely ripe, acidic, high in pectin—Cortland, Crab Apple, Empire
  • Apples will keep on the counter for about a week.  Depending on the variety, apples can store in the refrigerator for a few weeks to a month; if you have a “crisper drawer”, store them there.  For long-term storage, place in a dark, cool, and humid space.
  • To freeze: Apples freeze well when puréed. Do not freeze whole, uncooked apples.  Core, slice, and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

Kid-Friendly Eating Tips

  • Homemade applesauce: fill the bottom of a large pot with an inch of water, bring to a boil, add apples, and cook over low heat until soft, mash, then add cinnamon and or a bit of maple syrup.
  • Dip apple slices in peanut butter or pair them with cheddar cheese.
  • Bake apple slices in the oven with a cinnamon-sugar mixture for 15-20 minutes at 350° F (see recipe below!)
  • Bake apple halves in the oven, stuffed with a filling, such as, raisins, honey, chopped nuts or shredded coconut.

Recipes

Mashed Squash and Apples
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients:
4 lbs butternut squash (~2 squash)
2 apples, grated
1 yellow onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2-3 Tbsp. maple syrup
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375˚ F. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. Brush with olive oil and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until squash is tender, especially at the long end. Time will vary depending on the size of your squash, ~35-45 minutes.
2. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add apples, onions, and salt, cover, and cook until onions are soft, ~5 minutes. Remove cover and sauté until golden brown, ~5-7 minutes longer. Add garlic and spices, and sauté until fragrant, ~30 seconds longer. Remove from heat and set aside until squash finishes roasting.
3. Once squash is roasted, scrape it out of the skin and add it, along with maple syrup, to the pot with the apples and onions.  Whip with a hand mixer to desired consistency.
4. Serve hot.
Source: Coffee & Quinoa at http://www.coffeeandquinoa.com/2013/10/mashed-butternut-squash/

Baked Apple Slices
Yield: 4 cups
Ingredients:
4 cups apples
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. maple syrup or brown sugar
Directions:
1. Core and slice all apples.
2. Place apples on baking sheets. Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar or maple syrup over apples.
3. Bake at 350˚ F for ~10 minutes, or until apples can be pierced with a fork.

Resources

Have A Plant Apple Recipes

10 Ways to Enjoy Apples

Find an Orchard Near You: New England Apples- Orchards Archive

Vermont Apple Orchards, Farmstands, and Cider Producers