Peggy Paul Casella, Resident Wordsmith (and Farmstand Associate) Fall has officially arrived, and so have the first big apple deliveries from Beechwood Orchards and Three Springs Fruit Farm. Here's a handy guide to help you navigate the fourteen different apple varieties we now have at the 'stand, and a few recipes to rev up your fall cooking repertoire:
Empire: Sweet and crisp with bright white flesh and maroon coloring. Relative of the McIntosh apple, with similar floral/melon notes. Best for eating fresh or juicing.
Fuji: Very sweet and crisp with speckled pink coloring. Flesh is dull white and exceptionally juicy. Best for eating fresh or juicing.
Gala: Pleasantly sweet with pale orangeish-red to maroon coloring. Flesh ranges from creamy white to pale yellow, and its mild flavor is often likened to pears. Best for eating fresh or juicing.
Ginger Gold: Mild and sweet, with pale yellow-green coloring and a slightly sharper flavor than Golden Delicious. Best for eating fresh or juicing.
Golden Delicious: Very mild and sweet, with greenish-gold coloring. Flesh ranges from white to pale green and is richly sweet in flavor. Best for eating fresh or cooking.
Grimes Golden: A pale yellow American heirloom believed to be a parent variety of Gold Delicious. Very firm and pleasantly tart with an extra burst of astringency. Best for eating fresh, cooking/baking, and juicing. Great choice for homemade hard cider.
Honeycrisp: Predominantly sweet with streaked red and yellowish-green coloring. Flesh is white, very crisp and juicy, slightly acidic, and not too dense. Best for eating fresh, cooking, and juicing.
Ida Red: Sweet and tart with shiny red and green coloring. Flesh is bright white and holds up especially well in pies, cakes, and pastries. Best for cooking and baking.
Jonamac: Cross between Jonathan and McIntosh. Tart with sweet undertones and very crisp flesh. Coloring is deep red over a light green background. Best for eating fresh, cooking, baking, and juicing.
Jonathan: Well-balanced sweet-tart apple with red (sometimes yellow-streaked) coloring. Flesh is firm and juicy and makes for the perfect applesauce. Best for eating fresh, cooking, baking, and juicing.
McIntosh: Sweet with an acidic bite and shiny crimson-and-green skin. Flesh is bright white, very crisp, and holds up well in sauces and chutneys. Best for eating fresh, cooking, and baking.
Rambo: Sweet and just a little tart with a squatty, plump shape and bright green coloring. Flesh is white to pale green, crisp, and juicy. Best for eating fresh.
Red Delicious: Very sweet with thick, bright red skin. Flesh is dense and white to pale pink in color. Best for eating fresh.
September Wonder Fuji: An early, well-colored Fuji. Pink to reddish in color with sweet, crisp flesh. Best for eating fresh or juicing.
8 SWEET & SAVORY APPLE RECIPES TO TRY THIS FALL:
- Cabbage, Apple, and Walnut Salad (from Smitten Kitchen)
- Curried Apple Couscous (from 101 Cookbooks)
- Autumn Chicken Stew (from Eating Well)
- Cider-Brined Pork Roast with Onions and Apples (from Country Living)
- Sweet and Sour Green Juice (from Joy the Baker)
- Apple-Mascarpone Parfaits (from My Recipes)
- Glazed Apple Fritters (from The Kitchn)
- Dorie Greenspan's Custardy Apple Squares (from Food52)