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Walnut Creek Magazine

What's In Season: Apples

Nov 13, 2019 11:51AM ● By Cale Finta

What's In Season: Apples


Fall is the height of apple season. At Nor Cal markets, you’ll find everything from Honeycrisp and Fuji to Braeburn and Granny Smith. Big and small apples are equally delicious. There are over 7,500 varieties to bake into pie, toss into salad, or make into cider.

A guide to seven delicious varietals 

Golden Delicious This beloved, sweet apple is excellent for everything from pies to applesauce. It also keeps well and has long been one of the most popular apple varieties in the U.S.

Pink Lady A tangy fruit, this one is an ideal snack, but you’ll have to wait until late October or November for this variety to appear at local markets.

McIntosh Green-and-red skin locks in mildly tart, delicious flavor on apples harvested early in September. Best in pies mixed with Granny Smiths.

Granny Smith This sour bright green apple was first cultivated in Australia in 1868. It’s great served cut in slices on a cheese plate or slathered with peanut butter. 

Fuji A versatile, popular fruit—originally bred in Japan—this one is ideal for eating out of hand.

Gala Gold It’s best eaten raw, but also the perfect choice for fruit salads or applesauce, brimming with flavor.

Gravenstein First planted here in 1811, this super-versatile apple works well for baking, cooking, or just plain munching.


Local chefs share some of their favorite apple recipes

APPLESAUCE

By Chef Karen Leibowitz for CUESA FARMERS’ MARKET

INGREDIENTS:

(Yield: 1½ quarts)

3 pounds apples, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Gala Gold

1½ cups water

2 cinnamon sticks

¼ t. salt

1 T. marmalade

DIRECTIONS: Peel and core apples; cut into 1-inch cubes. Transfer to a large pot. Add water, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently, until apples are very soft. Remove cinnamon and vanilla. Transfer to a blender and puree, if you like a smoother texture. Serve immediately or chill in fridge for a few days to enhance flavor.


EASY APPLE CAKE

BY CHEF ALISON NEGRIN

INGREDIENTS:

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 T. cinnamon (to taste)

1/2 cup oil or softened butter

6 medium apples (or any favorite apple will do)

2 cups flour

2 t. baking powder

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and oil. Peel and slice apples and add to mixture in bowl (coating apples to keep from turning brown.) Mix together baking powder and flour, then add to the bowl. Mix well (best with a fork) until flour is absorbed by wet ingredients. Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 or pan. Bake for approximately 55 minutes.


UPSIDE DOWN APPLE WALNUT PIE

BY CHEF DEBBIE SHAHVAR, BUTTERCUP

INGREDIENTS:  

Apple Filling

5 large Granny Smith apples (about 2 1/2 lbs.)

¾ cup granulated sugar

3 T. flour

2 t. cinnamon

Praline

4 T. butter

¾ cup light brown sugar

¾ cup chopped walnuts

2 pre-made pie crusts (Pillsbury makes one ready to go)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Adjust rack to center of oven. Line a 9-inch metal pie pan with a 14 x 14 piece of wax paper and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. 

To make filling: Peel, quarter, and core apples. Cut into 3/4 in slices. Place in a large bowl and add sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Toss well to coat and set aside.

To make praline: Melt butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over moderate heat. Cook and stir until melted, about 3 minutes. Add walnuts and remove from heat. Set aside to cool.

To assemble: Spread cooled praline over bottom of wax paper in pie tin.  Top with a pie crust.  Pour apple filling into crust, mounding in center. Press down firmly.  Place top crust over apples.  Trim edges leaving a 3/4-inch border.  Fold top and bottom crusts together and flute.  Cut a 1-inch circle in center of pie. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower to 325 degrees.  Bake for 1 more hour.  Remove and cool. Refrigerate overnight.

To serve:  Heat a large skillet for 2 minutes.  Place pie in the skillet and heat for a few minutes.  Invert pie on a plate and peel off wax paper. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

 

 

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