Each year, New York State’s nearly 700 apple orchards produce 29.5 million bushels of apples! You see them at your farmers markets — baskets of red, yellow, and green fruit, two dozen different varieties. Among the most popular are Empire, McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Cortland, and Gala. With all the options to choose from, how do you know which ones to use for pies and which kind makes the best eating? This is a great time for you to talk with the growers at the market about their recommendations!
To help you with that conversation, here’s a guide from the New York Apple Association:
Braeburns are a little like Granny Smiths, with a sweet, yet tangy flavor. They are excellent for cooking and they hold up well in cold storage. Look for these to be available late in September and early October.
Cortland is an all-purpose apple and a true New Yorker — it was developed at the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York in 1898! It’s juicy and sweet, with just a bit of tartness. Its flesh stays white after cutting, so it’s excellent for use in salads. Use Cortlands for sauce, baking, and pies; slice and freeze now for baking over the winter months.
Crispins were first grown in Japan and were introduced in New York in 1948. A cross between Golden Delicious and Indo apples, they are crunchy, excellent for eating, making apple sauce, and baking.
Idareds may have been developed in Idaho, but it’s a cross between two apples that were first grown in New York’s Finger Lakes region in 1791. Use them for all kinds of cooking — sauce, baking, cooking, and pies. Idareds look as good as they taste, as they hold their shape and look beautiful in bowls on counters and table centerpieces.
McIntosh are a long-time favorite. It’s great for eating and because it has a tender flesh, it cooks down quickly for a great apple sauce.
- Blend tart and sweet apple varieties for great pies with a variety of textures.
- Keep slices uniform in size for pies and crisps for even baking; chop smaller piece for breads and muffins.
- 1 pound of apples – 2 large, 3 medium, 4 or 5 small; 3 cups peeled and sliced apples
Classic Apple pie recipe from New York Apple Association’s website: www.nyapplecountry.com
For 8 people, a two-crust, 9-inch pie
- 6 cups New York State apples thinly sliced and peeled
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoon(s) flour
- 3/4 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
- 1/8 teaspoon(s) nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Mix lightly.
Heat oven to 425º.
Use your favorite pie crust whether it’s a treasured family recipe or the quick and easy refrigerated pie crusts available in the supermarket.
- Prepare pie crust and place crust in pie pan, pressing firmly against sides and bottom.
- Trim crust evenly with the pan edge.
- Fill pie crust and place second crust over filling.
- Wrap excess top crust under the bottom crust edge. Press edges together to seal and flute.
- Cut slits in top crust. Cover edge of crust with strips of foil for the first 25 minutes of baking.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown
Photo Credit: Hans Via Pixabay