What's In Season: Apples

What's In Season: Apples

One of the first signs of fall is the arrival of apples at our farmers markets. For those of us who live in a northern climate, especially a place like New York with its orchard-filled fruit farms, apples and autumn are a happy pairing.

And what's not to love? Apples are crisp yet juicy and have a sweet-tart flavor that satisfies when eaten raw or when cooked. The flavor works when paired with something savory, as when baked alongside a pork roast or duck breast. It's the taste of our favorite pies, tarts and galettes and it surfaces in cuisines around the world, from Scandinavia to Sicily to Schenectady. For many children it's the first fruit they'll eat and yet a childhood applesauce can be made to please the most sophisticated palate (see our recipe for Applesauce for Grownups). Apple cider vinegar can add zing to cole slaw, a sip of apple Calvados can finish a hearty meal, and a smear of creamy blue cheese like a Fourme d'Ambert on a slice of just-cut Braeburn could be breakfast, lunch, or a dinner dessert.

How to Buy and Store Apples

How to Cook With Apples

Apples are loved as snacks and desserts but they're also tasty when combined with savory dishes like butternut squash, added to stuffing, salads and rice dishes, and served alongside meats, especially pork and game. Visit any of the popular cooking web sites and do a search on "apples" and you'll be amazed at the variety of ways you can cook with fruit. Here's a start:

An Apple Harvest

Frank Browning is a writer and NPR contributor who was raised on a Kentucky apple orchard and food writer Sharon Silva grew up on a farm in Sonoma Valley. Together they wrote An Apple Harvest (Ten Speed Press, $16.99, paperback with color photography). This appealing volume combines 60 apple-centric and cider recipes - both sweet and savory -- with tips for buying, storing, cooking with, and generally appreciating our most popular and tempting fruit. The photography will make you love our apple-tinged autumns even more, and it offers what was to me a new culinary word, Pomarium, which is a beautifully displayed guide to 26 of our most popular apples.

Authors Browning and Silva have generously shared their recipe for Pork Loin Stuffed With Fresh and Dried Apples. See our link.

I'll end with a little New England apple trivia: although he ended up as a Disney character with a pot for a hat, Johnny Appleseed was in fact a real person, born John Chapman in Massachusetts in 1774, a time when cider was a daily beverage. We have him to thank for his 18th century habit of visiting cider mills to collect apple seeds that he'd then plant in nurseries on his travels across America.





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