How To Select And Prepare Apples

Tart, sweet, crisp or zesty – find the perfect apple for your homemade pies, applesauce and more.

Whether you prefer to eat apple slices raw or love them in a pie or cobbler, this guide can help you learn which type is best for a variety of sweet and savory dishes.

Stock up at your local farmers market - or better yet, pick them yourself at a nearby orchard. Before cooking with apples, gently scrub them with a vegetable brush and warm running water, and then dry them thoroughly.

Fuji Apples. Imported from Japan, Fujis feature a yellowish-green skin striped in bright red. Their flesh is dense, tan and sweet, making them a yummy choice for homemade applesauce. How to Select: The Fuji's thick skin can come in many colors (some more striped than others), so don't be put off by the varieties. Look for apples that are firm all around.

How to Prepare: Because the flesh is so dense, Fujis retain their shape and flavor well when cooked. Their mild, sweet taste make them perfect for crisps, pies and other apple treats. Eating a salad? Add a few slices for a sweet crunch.

Golden Delicious Apples. Hailing from West Virginia, this fall favorite features a pale yellow-green skin and crisp, sweet flavor. How to Select: Perhaps more than any other variety, Golden Delicious apples are best when picked fresh. They should have a yellowish, golden-green color and should be firm.

How to Prepare: Golden Delicious apples are extremely versatile. They make great applesauce and retain their shape when put into a pie, crumble or crisp. Even if you don't get to the dishes right away, washing mixing bowls and pans with Dawn Platinum Dish Soap will remove stuck-on food in seconds.

Pink Lady Apples. Also widely known as Cripps Pink, this Australian import sports a skin that ranges in color from light blush to deep, almost-red hue. How to Select. Pink Ladies are renowned for their zesty flavor, so be sure to find fresh ones that have vibrant skin and firm flesh.

How to prepare: Pink Ladies are refreshingly flavorful, with a crispy flesh that is best eaten raw. Slice them up and serve them with some cheese, or put them on top of pancakes for a wonderful breakfast treat.

Granny Smith Apples. Large, juicy and tart, the Granny Smith is delicious, but it's especially loved for its bright green color. How to Select: Choose Granny Smiths that have vibrant green skin (this also helps you spot any bruising) and a firm feel. Late-harvest ones have a yellowish tint to their skins, but they are just as tasty.

How to Prepare: Bacause they're so tart, Granny Smiths pair well with the creamier, sweet varieties when used in baked goods. Use these apple slices in salads or with deep-flavored, savory cheeses. The flesh of this variety is also slow to brown, so don't worry about using fresh ones often! Granny Smiths are also perfect for especially sweet desserts. Use them to make a decadent caramel apple cinnamon roll or a caramel apples.

Braeburn Apples. Medium-large in size and varying in color, Braeburns are firm and have a good balance of sweetness and tartness. How to Select: Braeburns naturally have a somewhat "washed-out" color that can range from green-gold to red. As always, choose a firm one when selecting a Braeburn.

How to Prepare: Braeburns hold their shape well when cooked and add a touch of sweetness to breads, sauces and salads. These apples also work well with pork.

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