Apples – Picking and Choosing
In our last several segments we’ll share helpful information regarding choosing apples, storing them as well as freezing them.
Apples are a versatile fruit. From apple juice in the morning, apple sauce at noon, to delicious apple pie for dessert, the apple offers tasty enjoyment and healthy benefits. The freshest apples are available between September through November. Although many varieties are found throughout the year, some apple varieties may have been in cold storage and would actually be last years’ apples. For the freshest apples find the current years’ crop when they are ripe this Fall.
PICKING / CHOOSING APPLES
You will want to choose apples that are deeply colored, firm not soft, and that have a delicious fragrance, not musty. The skin on the apples should be smooth and free of gouges, bruises or broken skin. Sometimes when picking apples from a local orchard you will encounter more irregularities but you can quickly determine which apples are good and that haven’t been “tried” by birds or other animals.
You may even notice some apples that have a dry, tan or brown-colored area on the skin. This usually has no effect on the flavor of the apple and is known as “scald”. Cooking apples with these characteristics won’t affect or change the desired results or taste in your pies, cobblers, sauces or tarts. However, if you can’t get past the obvious flaws, then choose well-colored, smooth apples.
Become familiar with the best choice of apples for the specific apple dish you wish to make. Choosing the right apple type will ensure the results of a mouth-watering apple pie or a soft sweet apple sauce. You might even want to experiment with several apple types to find a mix that captures your taste buds. Don’t be afraid to use whichever apples you choose.
Be creative and enjoy the “fruits” of your labor!