Like our September theme (tomatoes), this month we're talking about a common enough garden or grocery item - apples! Many people know they are a great source of antioxidants (like EVOO!) as well as fiber and vitamin C.
And also like the tomato, there are so many varietals of apples, each with different tastes and textures. Some are more suitable than others for eating raw, cooking in pies, juicing, or making applesauce. If you have an apple tree in your yard, you probably know the particular strengths and weaknesses of the apples you grow. There are some that seem to be only good for applesauce and nothing else!
Apples just seem to go well with a lot of fall scents and flavours. But if you find yourself buying the same kind over and over again, it is time to try something new. Think beyond the Macintosh or Red Delicious - not that there's anything wrong with those.
Here is a short list of apples you've just got to try next time you buy:
If you want a good apple for baking besides green apples, choose Fuji. Fuji apples became popular in North America in the 1980s. They're crisp, firm, and have notes of honey and citrus. They hold up well when cooked so try them in a classic apple pie or these Balsamic Baked Apples.
Braeburn apples were developed in Australia. They fade from a rusty red to to lemon-lime green. Their pale yellow flesh is sweet, crisp and juicy with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. They hold their shape well when cooked and their sweetness mellows when cooking so take these in a savoury direction. They go well over pork chops or as a fun feature in a Zesty Apple Risotto to serve alongside fish.
Honeycrisp or Macoun Apples
Macoun apples may be lesser known, but they've been around since the 1920s. Honeycrisp apples were developed in Minnesota in the 1960s. Both are incredibly crisp with a pleasing balance between sweet and tangy, and best enjoyed just as they are. Perfect when thinly sliced for slaws, salads, and sandwiches (yes!).
Oh, and cheese plates like this Apple & Brie with White Balsaimc Reduction. Wow!
These apples should be pretty easy to find at the grocery store, but maybe you're like Ginny and enjoy growing your own. :) If you've got some room in your yard for one more tree, consider planting an apple tree yet this fall. Got a patio? Some varietals will even do well in a container!
Your local greenhouse can advise you on a hardy tree that will thrive in Manitoba's climate. Or CLICK HERE to take a look at these apple tree recommendations from Steinbach's own Oakridge Greenhouse. Enjoy!