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A Handy Chart for Eating, Cooking and Cider Apples

Updated on December 2, 2014
Gala Apples Ready for Cooking
Gala Apples Ready for Cooking | Source

Apples and . . .

Some of the foods apples compliment:

  • almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts
  • chicken,bacon, sausages
  • bleu cheese, gouda, yogurt.
  • celery, cranberries
  • cinnamon, cloves, ginger, horseradish, nutmeg,
  • custard, oatmeal
  • dates, lemons, pears, raisins
  • honey, maple syrup

Apple Varieties at The Farm or Supermarket

The first bite of an apple says everything. A loud “snap!” as you break the crisp skin, followed by a rewarding mouthful of juicy flesh. It’s no wonder apples are one of America’s favorite fruits.

Over one hundred years ago, most apples found in stores were grown close to home. There were as many as 20 to 30 different apple varieties available through the season. The knowledge of apple cookery was a basic necessity to get the most out of your harvest, if on a farm, or the most bang for your buck if you lived in the nearby town or city.

In the years since, with the expansion of supermarkets, the reduction of varieties offered to consumers followed. The question became not "which is the best'' but "what do they have." If a certain variety of apple could not be bought for jelly, pickling, pies or cider, consumers began to head out to the nearest farm and see what they had. The need for certain varieties, in home cooking, has lead to a traditional family outing to go apple picking, pumpkin harvesting and enjoying a day in the country.

Below is a handy chart for all your apple needs.

Apple Chart

Type of Apple
Apple Quality
Stores Well
Good Eating
Good Cooking
Good Cider
Arkansas Black
firm and moderately juicy
X
X
PIE
 
Ashmeads Kernel
firm with dense flesh
X
X
 
X
Ashton Brown Jersey
high quality juice
 
 
 
X
Baldwin
high sugar, good for pie when a bit green
X
 
PIE
X
Braeburn Firm
and hard a bit tangy
X
X
PIE
 
Bramley’s
culinary apple of England
 
 
SAUCE / PIE
 
Bulmer’s Norman
makes sweet, fast fermenting juice
 
 
 
X
Calville Blanc d’Hiver
classic dessert apple in France
 
X
PIE
X
Chisel Jersey
bittersweet, astringent juice
 
 
 
X
Cortland Redcort
very juicy and good for salads
 
X
SAUCE / PIE
X
Cox’s Orange Pippin
English apple with a pear like scent
 
X
PIE
X
Elstar
Great for baked apples & flavor mellows with storage
 
X
SAUCE / PIE
 
Empire
white, sweet, juicy and crisp
X
X
SAUCE / PIE
X
Esopus Spiztzenberg
very firm and crisp
X
X
SAUCE / PIE
 
Foxwhelp
aromatic and musky flavor
 
 
 
X
Fuji
sweet with firm flesh
X
X
SAUCE
 
Gala
rich sweet flavor
X
X
PIE
 
Golden Delicious
crisp and juicy: great for baking
 
X
SAUCE / PIE
X
Golden Russet
sweet, crisp with a fine texture
 
X
SAUCE / PIE
X
Granny Smith
hard, firm and tart
X
X
SAUCE / PIE
 
Gravenstein
tops for sauce; short storage
 
X
SAUCE
X
Grimes Golden
high in sugar content
X
 
SAUCE
X
Hyslop Crab
excellent for jelly and cider blending
 
 
JELLY
X
Idared
slightly tart, aromatic and juicy
 
X
PIE
 
Jonagold
bakes well whole; large fruit
 
X
PIE
 
Jonathan
small and tart
 
X
PIE
X
McIntosh
aromatic and does not keep well
 
X
SAUCE
X
Michelin
sweet, mild astringent juice
 
 
 
X
Mutsu AKA Crispin
firm, crisp, sweet tart
X
X
SAUCE
X
Newtown Pippin
very good for pies; crisp and tender
X
X
SAUCE / PIE
X
Nonpareil
sweet, tart flesh; good for cider
 
X
 
X
Northern Spy
blend well with crab apples for cider
X
 
PIE
X
Northwest Greening
tart, juicy; tough skin
X
 
SAUCE / PIE
 
Red Delicious
commercial apple; can be of very good quality
 
X
 
 
Rhode Island Greening
great for pies; dries well
X
X
PIE
 
Rome Beauty
excellent baked whole
 
 
SAUCE
X
Roxbury Russet
high sugar content; excellent for cider
X
X
SAUCE
X
Smith’s Cider
cultivated for cider
 
 
 
X
Spartan
flavorful, McIntosh cross
X
X
 
 
Stayman Winesap
juicy, firm flesh
X
 
SAUCE / PIE
X
Sweet Coppin
apple from Devon; cider apple
 
 
 
X
Virginia Crab
juice fermented very slowly; high flavor
 
 
 
X
Winesap
very juicy; good baked whole
 
X
SAUCE / PIE
X
Yarlington Mill
vintage English cider apple: high yields
 
 
 
X
York Imperial
great keeping apple
X
 
SAUCE / PIE
 

How to Choose a Great Apple

Forget about shine; that’s just grocery store wax. Ripe apples should be firm to the touch and have a nice, light fragrance, without any bruises or skin breaks. If you’re making a pie, select loose apples as opposed to pre-bagged ones. You want bigger apples so you don’t have to do as much peeling, and the plastic bags do not allow for mixing varieties.

For cider, pick the apples on a dry day and ground apples are just fine as long as they are not rotten. Crab apples will just add to the flavor so do not be afraid to add fistfuls of them. You could even add in a bit of dessert pears to make a unique flavor.

Storage Tips & Ideas

Your apples should be stored in a cool part of the home, such as lower part of the refrigerator on a seasonal porch or even in the cellar as long as it remains about 42 degrees fahrenheit. This temperature is recommended for apple storage. The Garnny Smith and Fugi apple can be kept for up to one year if stored in the right conditions.

Always check to make sure that the apples have no bruises, cuts, dings or soft spots. The old saying is true; One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. If the apples are damaged, you can eat or cook with them in the next 2 days, but store them on your counter. If you choose no to use them, toss them outside in your compost pile. You can also make a small hole in your garden, toss the apple in, and by next season you will have added compost directly into your soil.

If you do not want to store your extra apples in the refrigerator, you can store them in any unheated part of your home, garage or storage/utility shed. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that the temperature can not go below freezing for long periods of time. The following is one way to ensure all those apples will be in excellent condition when you go to grab a few.

  1. Wrap each apple individually in paper.
  2. Get a cardboard box or insulated crate.
  3. Line the box with shredded paper on the bottom and begin to place the apples in.
  4. Add a layer of shredded paper, then place the next layer of apples.
  5. Continue until you reach the top of the box or crate. The last layer should be shredded paper.
  6. Fold the top of the box to close, but do not tape. You want some air flow. If you use an insulated container, just make sure the lid is placed on the top. Do not secure it tightly.


External Links to Great Apple Recipes

  1. If you have ever jarred your own applesauce, this recipe for homemade Apple Cider will give you a great recipe on how to use the juice that remains from making apple sauce.
  2. Have a crock pot? Making Apple Butter from apple sauce couldn't be easier.
  3. When the holiday season arrives, have canned Apple Pie Filling ready to make all the pies you may need.

Apples and Cooking

  • Cooking or baking apples are varieties that retain their firmness when baked and do not turn mushy like applesauce.
  • Mixing varieties of cooking apples gives additional flavor to your baked goods. For example, if the recipe calls for 5 apples, mix at least two to three different varieties.
  • Lemon or lime juice will counteract the oxidation in sliced apples. Use whichever juice may add a bit of flavor to the recipe you are using.
  • The best way to store apples is to place just a few apples in an airtight plastic bag and store them inside your refrigerators' crisper.


Apple Blossoms in Spring.
Apple Blossoms in Spring. | Source

© 2013 Susan McLeish

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    • StoneCircle profile image
      Author

      Susan McLeish 4 years ago from Rindge, NH

      Oh, I would have loved to get my hands on some of those apples.

      I have had this list around so when I venture off to apple pick, I know what varieties everyone in the house will be needing. We all like them a bit different. I believe Apple Sauce is on the list for gift giving this year.

      So glad you enjoyed it!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      Tremendous amount of work here! And of course, I love it!

      I was at a farmer's market a couple of years ago here in Connecticut. A lady brought some fresh snow white apples. They were small. Sort of tart but sweet. She said they are from a very old tree on her property.

      Nice Hub!