When it comes to cooking apples, there are some key things at-home cooks should know. Here’s a few of our top tips to ensure you get the perfect dish every time:
Not all apples are equally as good for cooking. Some apple varietals are better for baking or simply consuming fresh. When it comes to cooking with apples, the best fruits have a skin and flesh that breaks down or softens quickly. The following are the types we recommend: Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Jonagold and Pink Lady.
To prep apples for cooking, cut the apples into very small pieces so that they will cook and break down faster (grating the apple works very well).
A good baking apple is typically a firm apple that will hold its shape when exposed to high heat. Although apple pie is an all-time favorite, baking with apples offers so many other delicious options, like in crumbles, brown betties, muffins, baked oatmeal, and so many more great ideas! The following are the types we recommend: Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Piñata®, and Golden Delicious.
Once you have your variety of apple, you need to prepare them for the heat. We recommend first peeling, cutting into fourths and removing the core (see our tips on how to core an apple below) and finally squeeze lemon juice on apple slices to prevent browning.
Stewed apples are versatile and can be used in an array of cooking and baking recipes. Adding to the versatility of stewed apples, they can stay fresh this way inside your refrigerator for up to a week and can be paired with several different dishes throughout the week, or enjoyed alone. Try this easy 2-step process: 1. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add sliced apples and pinch of salt. 2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are light gold, 4 to 5 minutes.
Does coring an apple seem daunting? Many of us simply cut the apple and carve out the core, which typically results in uneven slices and holes in the fruit. Others invest in an apple coring device. We have another method for you to try, and it’s easy – we promise!
- Set the apple on a cutting board, the stem facing up
- Insert a short, thin-bladed knife directly into the top of the apple; avoid inserting the knife directly into the core
- Push the blade all the way through the apple. Do it slowly, so you don’t cut yourself. Make sure that the knife pokes through the bottom of the apple, so you can see the blade.
- Pull out the knife. Do this slowly and carefully. Watch where you place your fingers. If the knife does slide out more quickly than you expect, the blade should not go anywhere near your fingers or palm.
- Repeat this process three more times around the center of the apple. When you’re finished, you should have made four incisions to create a square around the center of the apple.
- Insert the knife back into one of the incisions. Drag it from the first incision to the second, and all the way through the other two incisions, until you have completely cut around the apple’s core.
- Remove the knife and push out the core with your thumbs. Push it down through the apple until it pops out.
Since apples break down during the baking process, it’s hard to know how many apples you may need. A typical 9- or 10- inch pie usually calls for 5 to 6 cups of sliced or chopped apples. So how many should you buy? Here’s how to know how many apples you’ll need for your recipes:
- 1 large apple equals:
- 2 cups sliced or chopped
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped
- 1 1/4 cups grated
- 3/4 cup sauce
- 1 medium apple equals:
- 1 1/3 cups sliced or chopped
- 1 cup finely chopped
- 3/4 cup grated
- 1/2 cup sauce
- 1 small apple equals:
- 3/4 cup sliced or chopped
- 3/4 cup finely chopped
- 1/2 cup grated
- 1/3 cup sauce