Now that fall is here, apples not readily seen during the year have become increasingly available, with a fresh crop of the more common apples being sold at very attractive prices. If you’ve ever wondered why some kinds of apples are offered year-round, it’s because modern methods allow growers to store apples for up to a year without loss of quality. Granny Smith and Golden Delicious are among those apples in continuous supply.
With approximately 100 varieties of apples grown commercially in the United States, it can be difficult to know which apple is best suited for your purpose. For baking applications, tart/crisp Granny Smith and sweet/tender Golden Delicious apples are good choices, especially for their ability to hold their shape when cooked. For pies and tarts, the combination of the two is ideal.
When selecting apples, choose those that are firm and free of bruises and soft spots. Once you get them home, store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. (Apples will soften 10 times faster if stored at room temperature.) Stored properly, apples should keep for several weeks.
Although incredibly versatile, some apples are not as adaptable as others are in relation to their use. If the market where you shop does not make available a reference guide for apples, check out http://www.theyummylife.com/files/Comparing_Apples_to_Apples.pdf.
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.