Ingredient Spotlight: Apples

Cook, In Season, Ingredient Spotlight

Ingredient Spotlight: Apples

It’s apple season! A crisp, sweet-tart apple is the ultimate go-to snack, but these red, gold and green beauties are also great for baking — and even making apple cider. Read on for some of our best tips on choosing and prepping apples, plus delicious ways to prepare them from the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen.

 

Look for: Apples should have unbroken skin with good color and no soft brown spots. Whenever possible, buy newly harvested local apples. Because they continue to ripen at room temperature, refrigerate them in the cold back part of the refrigerator for 1 week or longer. If you plan to eat them soon after purchase, they can be held at room temperature for a few days.

 

Prep tips: A small, sharp knife is all you need for peeling and slicing apples, although a vegetable peeler may be faster and easier. Specially designed apple corers are also useful tools. Exposed apple flesh will brown quickly unless it’s rubbed with lemon or other citrus juice. Here’s your toolkit:

 

Ingredient Spotlight: Apples

 

Uses: Sweet, thin-skinned apples are best for eating raw, as a snack out of hand or paired with aged cheese, while tart apples are ideal for making pies, cakes, pastries or applesauce. The most recognizable varieties for eating fresh include Red Delicious, sweet Golden Delicious, tart and green Granny Smith, red- and yellow-streaked Gala and the red-marbled McIntosh. Bakers seek out varieties such as Jonathan, Cortland, Pippin, Winesap, Gravenstein and Braeburn for their sturdy texture that balance sweetness with pronounced tartness and hints of spiciness. For more tips on the best varieties for specific uses, see our Apple Guide.

 

Recipe Ideas

 

Shaved Apple & Fennel Salad

Shaved Apple & Fennel Salad: Whisk together apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, chopped fennel fronds, canola oil, salt and pepper. Using a mandoline, thinly shave peeled Granny Smith apples and fennel. Toss with vinaigrette and garnish with fennel fronds.

 

Pork Chops with Apple-Calvados Sauce

Pork Chops with Apple-Calvados Sauce: Sear bone-in pork chops in saute pan until browned; transfer to a baking sheet and finish in oven. In same pan, saute thinly sliced shallots and Gala apples until golden. Deglaze pan with Calvados. Add chicken stock and simmer until apples are tender. Whisk in butter, chives, salt and pepper. Serve over pork chops.

 

Smoked Trout and Apple Salad

Smoked Trout and Apple Salad: Whisk together white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss mixed greens with vinaigrette and thin slices of Fuji apples. Top with pieces of smoked trout and a dollop of creme fraiche.

 

Cabbage Apple Slaw

Cabbage and Apple Coleslaw: Combine thinly sliced red or green cabbage (or a mixture) with coarsely grated Granny Smith apples and thinly sliced green onions. Whisk together mayonnaise, cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over cabbage mixture; toss to combine.

 

Baked Apples

Baked Apples with Walnuts and Raisins: Toss chopped walnuts and raisins with brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fill 8 cored apples with walnut mixture; place in a buttered baking dish. Bake at 350ºF until apples are tender and filling is bubbly, 40 to 50 minutes.

 

Savory Apple Tart with Gruyere

Savory Apple Tart with Gruyere: Place chilled puff pastry on a parchment-lined baking sheet; brush pastry with olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, salt and pepper; top with grated Gruyere and tart apple slices. Bake at 350ºF until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

 

Find more tips and recipes for peak-season produce here.

3 comments about “Ingredient Spotlight: Apples

  1. Weekly Wrap-Up: 9/30-10/6 | Williams-Sonoma Taste

  2. Jennifer Tuthill

    Why do some of your fall recipes have the ingredient amounts, but others (categories of apples, broccoli,) not list amounts? “Add broccoli and chicken stock” for your quick broccoli soup is not very specific- pint? quart? cup? one head? etc…the baked apples with walnuts and raisins recipe simply says to combine chopped walnuts, raisins, brown sugar, cinn, nutmeg, and melted butter. No measured amounts given. I can be creative, of course, and perhaps that is your goal. But sometimes the difference between a so-so recipe and a real knock out has to do with the proportions, which you at W.S. might have an edge on with these interesting titled recipes. I love the photos!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *