6 great ways to enjoy apples: picking the best apple for the job

Apples are a versatile fruit used in everything from baked goods to apple juice. And why not? Their many sweet and vibrant varieties are often sold year round. Here are six ways to enjoy apples and how to pick the best variety for your eating or cooking needs.

6 great ways to enjoy apples: picking the best apple for the job

1. As a snack

For crispness and flavour, almost any apple is a joy. But these varieties are known for their great and distinctive taste:

  • Braeburn: mildly sweet flavour
  • Empire: aromatic, similar to the classic McIntosh
  • Cortland: tart, with a hint of strawberry in its flavor
  • Jonagold: rich, honey flavor

2. Atop salads

Apples make terrific additions to salads. Experiment with different varieties to see which best bring out the flavour of your favourite salads.

  • To keep sliced apples from browning in salads, squirt them with a bit of lemon juice. Remember to leave the skins on for maximum nutrition.

3. Applesauce

If you’re a fan of applesauce, select softer apples as they’ll cook down faster. You can avoid adding sugar if you choose sweet varieties. Here are some great options for applesauce:

  • Fuji: complex flavour, both sweet and tart
  • Idared: coarse and earthy taste
  • Northern Spy: a tart edge to its sweetness

But you might like the results if you blend all three! You can also add berries in season for an even more flavourful applesauce.

4. Baked apples

Choose varieties with strong flavour and firm flesh for the best results if you're baking apples. The best varieties for the job include:

  • Rome Beauty
  • Honeycrisp
  • Crispin

5. Apple pie

The same goes for baking an apple pie: look for varieties that have flesh that’ll stay firm during baking. Try one of these options or a combination thereof:

  • Cortland: sweetness that holds up well after baking, so you can use a bit less brown sugar
  • Idared; tangy and slightly acidic, and will make a great pie if you plan to top it with whipped cream or ice cream
  • Northern Spy: great for a classic apple pie, one that your grandmother would probably like

6. Juice

Don't forget apple juice! Once you open a quart or gallon container, it will "harden" over time, developing an alcohol content in the refrigerator and turning to cider in a week or so. You'll find the flavour to be quite different from the sweetness of the juice. Apple varieties suitable for making juice include:

  • Gala: crisp, juicy and very sweet this variety also makes a great snacking apple
  • Fuji: thanks to its firm flesh and sweetness, this apple is also favoured for applesauce
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