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Walnut Creek Magazine

We're Falling For Apple Season

Sep 21, 2023 05:07PM ● By Cale Finta

Big and small apples are equally delicious. There are over 7,500 varieties to bake into pie, toss into salad, or make into cider. Here is a guide to seven of the most popular varieties and recipes from local chefs. 

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 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 the tart, tangy taste with a hint of sweetness. Cherished for for using in pies and sauces, or eating fresh. 

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.


By Chef Karen Leibowitz 

(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.


By CUESA Farmers Market

8 slices sourdough
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
6 ounces medium or sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
4-8 slices smoky ham
1-2 small tart green apple, such as Granny Smith, seeded and cut into ⅛-inch thick slices.

Directions: Butter one side of bread slices. Top with ham, apple slices, and then cheese. Place remaining bread, buttered side up, on top. Heat a large pan for 2 minutes, put in sandwiches, cover & cook for 2 minutes. Remove cover & turn sandwiches, pressing firmly with a spatula to flatten slightly. Cook for 1 minute or until underside is golden brown. Turn again, cook for 30 seconds. Cut in half & serve.


By Walnut Creek Farmers Market

2 lbs. Golden delicious apples (5-5/12 cups)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter

Directions: Peel & slice apples. Place in a shallow 1 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with water. Set aside. Combine dry ingredients. Cut butter into dry mixture until it resembles small clumps. (Do NOT stir together.) Sprinkle topping evenly over the apples, but do not mix. Cover & bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then uncover & bake for another 30 minutes crisp topping. Serve hot.



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