Texas Living

Your Fall Apple-Baking Guide

By Celia Bryan-Brown 10.18.17

If the changing of the season has you hankering for the classic comfort foods of your childhood, we’ve got you covered with this guide to cooking with the king of fall fruits — the apple.

It’s the perfect time to head on down to your local farmers market or shop and root out heirloom varieties that will really make your recipes sing.

Perfect Pies

Is there anything lovelier than a freshly baked, old-fashioned apple pie? For an easy update to your family’s recipe, decorate with a simple apple rose. Cut a firm-fleshed variety apple into paper-thin slices and fan them out around the pie crust like petals for a finish that will make your home bakes look professional.

Great apples for pies: Granny Smith, sweet Fuji, Cortland, Jonagold, Golden Delicious

Apple-Baking Guide

Whole Bakes

A whole baked apple is the perfect dessert-in-one. It’s also a tasty breakfast treat served with some plain yogurt the morning after your feast (in the unlikely event of leftovers). Look for a firm variety apple like Fuji, which will hold its shape during cooking.

Instead of the traditional raisin stuffing, give your bake a fresh twist with a tropical combination of dried pineapple, apricot, and mango. Garnish with flaked coconut for the full effect.

Great apples for baking whole: Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious

Apple-Baking Guide

All-American Applesauce

A jar of homemade applesauce is an easy way to bring a fruity flavor to pot roasts, cold cuts, and chops. But how do you get the best flavor and texture? For the perfect blend of sweetness, acidity, and the appealing fluffy texture you only get with a good homemade sauce, combine three varieties of apple — one sweet, one tart, and one with a soft, fluffy flesh.

For a twist on this classic, include Cortland apples with their pink skins left on. When the sauce is cooked, pass it through a potato ricer and you’ll have a sauce that’s a delicate blush pink!

Great apples for applesauce: Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Cortland, Honeycrisp

Apple-Baking Guide

Caramel Classics

It’s hard to improve upon a caramel apple. But there are a few tricks to make sure you get it just right. Pick a firm-fleshed apple like a Braeburn — and avoid thin-skinned varieties like Golden Delicious to ensure your apple holds its shape. For extra caramel goodness with every bite, make incisions into the apple (taking care not to cut through the core) before you dip. Instead of falling off the apple when it hardens, your caramel will seep in to every tart bite.

Great apples for caramel apples: Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Gala, Empire

Apple-Baking Guide

Apples aren’t just perfect for sweet bakes — the right choice can work wonders with savory treats too. For a quick, healthy snack, slice firm Royal Gala apples across the core and dust with cinnamon. A sweet, fluffy variety like Golden Delicious also works brilliantly blended with roasted parsnips in a soup — the perfect start to a Thanksgiving meal.

Check out more ideas for making your fall family gatherings celebrations to remember.

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