A guide to apples comes in handy in the fall when so many varieties are available. Are all apples created equal? Hardly. Some are better for baking and others are suited for eating out of hand or as crunchy highlights in salads. When I was the food editor at the Tampa Bay Times, I often put together an apple primer in the fall and lean on that work for today’s post. It is so easy to buy the wrong apple and then be disappointed when your cake or pie doesn’t turn out quite like you wanted. Or you bite into a mushy apple when what you wanted was something crisp. That’s usually a choice issue and not one bad apple.
Thanks to information from the U.S. Apple Association, here is a list to help you in your apple shopping.
Red Delicious. Most well known of all American varieties, this brilliant red apple is a native of Iowa. A crisp, juicy apple and best for eating out of hand or in diced salads. (Squeeze lemon juice over cut apples to prevent browning.) Season: September through April.
Golden Delicious. An American original from Clay County, W. Va. Mellow and sweet, all-purpose Goldens are great for snacking, baking and salads. When used for pies, reduce sugar. Season: September through early June.
Fuji. One of the most popular in the United States because of its sweet flavor and firmness, a quality especially desirable for snacking. Also good in salads and for applesauce. Season: year-round.
Gala. The Gala is a native of New Zealand native and has been sold in the United States for at least 40 years. It is a crisp, juicy, sweet apple that’s great for snacking. Season: year-round.
Honeycrisp. A cross between the Northern Macoun and Honeygold, Honeycrisp apples are sweet and firm. Best for snacking. Season: September through October.
Jazz. Primarily grown in Washington State, the Jazz got its start in New Zealand. It’s a cross between a Gala and a Braeburn. Juicy, firm and sweet. Season: September through December.
Granny Smith. The Granny Smith is a favorite of people who love tart apples. This is generally a consistently crisp apple. It’s perfect for snack and cooking, especially in baked dishes. Season: year-round.
Jonathan. A native of Woodstock, N.Y., this crimson apple plays well with other apples, especially in sauces and ciders. Excellent for baking. Season: September through April.
McIntosh. Tangy and tart with tender white flesh. (Some say mushy.) Best for snacking and in applesauce but needs a thickener if used in pies because of high water content. Season: September through May.
Rome beauty. Primarily a baking apple that’s often called the “baker’s buddy.” Mildly tart with a long shelf life, it is also good in sauces. Pair this apple with your pork chop recipes. Season: October through May.
Braeburn. A multipurpose apple good for baking and snacking. Season: October through July.
Apples are on our minds this week, but so are pumpkins, winter squash and other classic fall flavors. The Sunday Supper tastemakers have developed a full slate of recipes that simply shout autumn. You will no doubt find a new taste treat for your family dinners.
Join us at 7 p.m. ET tonight for our weekly live Twitter chat. Follow the hashtag #SundaySupper to join the dish about fall comfort foods. We will have plenty to talk about and you’ll come away with some clever ideas for dinner. In the meantime, check out this week’s favorite fall recipes:
- Apple-Currant Dutch Baby Pancake by The Weekend Gourmet
- Apple Swirled Pumpkin Yeast Bread by What Smells So Good?
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread by Party Food and Entertaining
- Giant Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tart by Pies and Plots
- Sweet Potato Buttermilk Biscuits by Tara’s Multicultural Table
Appetizers and Sides
- Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Cabbage Soup with Lentils by Monica’s Table
- Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins by Pancake Warriors
- Pumpkin Spice Roasted Sweet Potatoes by Love and Confections
- Roasted Veggie Tart by Books n’ Cooks
- Acorn Squash Stuffed with Roasted Veggies & Couscous by Momma’s Meals
- Butternut Squash Lentil Curry Soup by Food Done Light
- Curry Beef Pies by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Fantasy Rice by The Petit Gourmet
- King Prawns in Red Sauce – Mauritian Style Creole Sauce by Peachy Tales
- Pasta with Creamy Butternut & Bacon by Cooking Chat
- Pork Chops with Apple Dijon Sauce and Arugula Salad by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Pork Chops with Glazed Apples and Vegetables by The Complete Savorist
- Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash by Feeding Big and More
- Roasted Tomato Soup with Bacon/Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich by A Gouda Life
- Salt Roasted Salmon over Roasted Butternut & Yam Soup by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken, Delicata Squash and Olives by Foodie Tots
- Sweet Potato French Bean Lentil Salad by Food Lust People Love
- Sweet Potato Alfredo Sauce by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup by Eating in Instead
- Whole Roasted Chicken with Vegetables by Life Tastes Good
Desserts and Cocktails
- Apfelkuchen by Curious Cuisiniere
- Applesauce Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Swirls by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Apple Gingersnap Refrigerator Dessert by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Autumn Bellini by An Appealing Plan
- Autumn Spice Cookies by Desserts Required
- Caramel Apple Napoleons by The Crumby Cupcake
- Caramel Apple Pie Bundles by The Freshman Cook
- Caramel Apple Streusel Muffins by The Redhead Baker
- Caramel Apple Swirl Cheesecake No-Churn Ice Cream by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Cheesecake Swirl Pumpkin Muffins by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Chestnut and Pear Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream by Caroline’s Cooking
- Dark Chocolate-Espresso Pumpkin Tiramisu by Brunch with Joy
- Dutch Apple Pie by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake with Butterscotch Drizzle by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Pumpkin Chocolate Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Pumpkin Crisp by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Pumpkin Pecan Bundt Cake by Flour On My Face
- Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Cookies by Palatable Pastime
- Roasted Maple Pears by Amee’s Savory Dish
- Spiced Pear Cake by Simply Healthy Family
- Spiced Pumpkin Bread by Renee’s Kitchen Adventures
- Sweet Apple Skillet Cake by Nosh My Way
Plus, A Guide to Apples plus Best Fall Recipes Ideas for #SundaySupper
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.