Seasonal Snippet: Apples in Autumn
photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Seasonal Snippet: Apples in Autumn

above photo and all photos in this post, unless otherwise noted: Emily Hamilton Laux

By Katy Morris

Apples are always the apple of our eye but never more so than in autumn. They’re healthy and delectably ubiquitous in an array of dishes ranging from crisp salads, hot ciders and smooth sauces to savory desserts.

Here’s why we love ’em and what you need to know to take advantage of this abundant autumn bounty.

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux


Picking tips?

 As with most fruits and veggies, steer clear of bruised fruit. We say that often, but it’s especially important with apples as damaged ones can actually cause the rest of the bunch (as well as other produce) to rot more quickly when storing (it’s a chemical thing). They should be firm and feel heavy for their size.

For a fun fall outing, head out to a local orchard and pick your own!  This website is a great resource for finding farms near you, and they offer even more picking tips.


Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

What’s the best way to store them?

 A bowl full of freshly picked apples is sure to brighten up your kitchen counter, but they should only really stay there for a few days at most. To keep them fresh longer, pop ‘em in your fridge’s crisp drawer where they can safely stay for at least 2-3 weeks.

Apples exude a chemical when the skin is broken and they become exposed to air (hence the reason they turn brown when sliced), which can make other produce spoil quickly. It’s best to keep them separate from other produce or in a paper towel or sealed plastic bag.


How can I stop them from browning when sliced?


Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

The best trick we’ve found is to soak the slices in a bowl of cold water with citric acid (we prefer lemon juice).  Use about a tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of water.


Will they really keep the doctor away?

Well, they surely are a good start! Apples are super rich in fiber, cancer-fighting antioxidants, nutrients and minerals like potassium, niacin and vitamins A,B,C,E, and K. They can also lower cholesterol and boost your immune system.


What’s up with all the varieties?


Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Bright green, golden-yellow, crimson, plum…where to start? There are tons of apple varieties out there, but here’s a quick round up of the most popular kinds you’re likely to see at the market this fall and the best uses for them:


 ♥Gala: Underneath the intricately pink and orange striped-skin, you’ll find crisp, sweet-tart creamy colored flesh. Galas are the perfect on-the-go snack option and are often the top pick when it comes to making applesauce.


Granny Smith: These crisp, tart emerald beauties hold up well when baked (click on AliBabka‘s tantalizing French Apple Tart here) but their refreshing sharpness also makes them great right out of your hand.


McIntosh: McIntosh apples – one of our faves – are actually New England natives. They’re great in pies or eaten out of hand, but note they have a softer consistency and don’t keep as well as other kinds so grab and enjoy ‘em fast!


Golden Delicious: The name really says it all. This thin-skinned, greenish-yellow variety is sweet and mellow and is perfect to toss in a salad, fresh from the market, or baked in pies and tarts.


Cortland: We like these vibrant red apples best sliced and tossed in salads, as they hold up longer than others.  They are actually a cross between McIntosh and Ben Davis varieties, but are juicier and sweeter than McIntoshes.


Red Delicious: Cloaked in crimson and sweet in taste, Red Delicious apples tend to have a grainy consistency. They aren’t our top pick for baking as their skin doesn’t hold up too well in the heat.


Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Recipe ideas?

In addition to giving you an apple-tastic dairy-free (pareve) and vegan dessert, we looked back on some of our past recipes that feature this seasonal fruit. Here they are rounded up for you to easily check out:

Cool and Green Rice Noodle Salad

Harvest Brew Roasted Chicken with Mushroom-Apple Stuffing and Maple-Balsamic Glaze

Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes

Winter Salad with Roasted Fruit & Veggies [you can use pears or apples in this recipe]


Thank you to Alison Gütwaks, President and Personal Chef of AliBabka, for sharing this easy recipe for her dairy-free and vegan French Apple Tart here.

photo: Liz Rueven
photo: Liz Rueven

 Do you have a favorite varietal of apple native to your area? How do you cook with apples? We want to know!

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