It’s the season for picking apples and early varieties are already in the market.
With the exception of Red Delicious apples, which are best suited for eating out of hand, or in salads, the majority of apples available right now, such as Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, are excellent choices for making today’s recipes for baked apples and King Arthur Flour’s Apple Pie Bars.
Because of their exceptional ability to hold their shape when baked and their firm, sweet flesh, Golden Delicious apples were chosen for the baked apple recipe, this one baked in rich Wood’s Boiled Cider, a product of the Wood family of Vermont, who have been making boiled cider since 1882.
Being one of the best apples for use in pies, crisps and cobblers, Granny Smith apples is the baking apple mentioned for use in the bar recipe. Available all year long, Granny Smith apples also hold their shape well when baked. Because Granny Smith apples are very tart, some bakers like to combine them with sweeter baking apples (like Golden Delicious) in recipes.
Whenever selecting apples, look for apples that are blemish-free and firm. Once you bring your apples home, store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator – apples stored at room temperature will soften 10 times faster than an apple kept chilled. Stored properly, apples will keep for several weeks.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.