Written by Molly Zingler, New York Apple Association
With so many great-tasting apple varieties available this time of year, it is possible to snack on a different flavor every day for weeks – if not months! New York growers produce more apple varieties than any other state, so when you’ve had your fill of fresh fruit then start baking with them.
You turned off your oven for the summer, so now that fall is here let’s ease back into baking gently. First, here are our tips to lay the foundation – crust, if you will – for the best baking experience:
- Make the right choice: All apple varieties are not created equally. Choose varieties that are recommended for baking. Which means never choosing Red Delicious.
- Make the hard choice: Select apples that are firm to the touch and aren’t bruised. Handle them gently to prevent blemishes.
- Just say no to the fruit bowl: Refrigerated apples last much longer than room-temperature ones.
- Pucker up to prevent browning: To keep apple slices and dices from browning before baking, bathe them in a mixture of half lemon juice, half water – or 100 percent apple juice fortified with vitamin C. (Lemon juice = citric acid = vitamin C.)
- Get mixed up: When making a pie, crisp, slump, betty, crumble, or any other baked goodie that calls for sliced or diced apples, use a blend of sweet and tart apple varieties for balanced flavor.
- Dress for success: Most of the apple’s health benefits are in the peel, so leave it on.
Now let’s bake something!
The pinnacle of baking with apples is the two-crust apple pie, but that can also be daunting for many bakers. If you don’t feel ready to tackle a two-cruster, start with a crostada. This rustic, free-form pastry tastes just as good as its more formal cousin. We’ve made it even easier by calling for a ready-made crust.
When you’re ready to move up to a two-crust pie, find that recipe (and many others) at www.nyapplecountry.com/recipes.
For our advice on which varieties are best for baking, visit www.nyapplecountry.com/apple-country-useage-chart.
Apple Walnut Crostada
- 1 refrigerated/ready−made piecrust
- cooking spray
- 6 or 7 baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup all−purpose flour
- dash of vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Place apple slices, sugar, walnuts, flour and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and toss well.
Transfer piecrust to baking sheet. Spoon apple mixture into center of piecrust and fold up sides of pastry to capture apples and juices. Dot with butter. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serves 8.
Nutrition Info: Each serving contains 320 calories, 51 g carbohydrate, (4 g fiber), 2 g protein, 14 g fat, (5 g saturated fat), 10 mg cholesterol, and 125 mg sodium.
Photo credit: U.S. Apple Association, www.usapple.org.
About Molly Zingler
Molly comes by her apple props honestly. In addition to being marketing director for New York Apple Association, she grew up in New York Apple Country and recently married a New York state apple grower.
About New York Apple Association, Inc.
A nonprofit agricultural trade association based in Fishers, N.Y., NYAA represents the state’s commercial apple growers. The association supports profitable growing and marketing of New York apples through increasing demand for apples and apple products, representing the industry at state and federal levels, and serving as the primary information source on New York apple-related matters. For more information, visit www.nyapplecountry.com.