As the old saying goes – an apple a day will keep the nasties away and we certainly won’t argue with that. Not only are apples good for us but they are the inspiration behind so many of our favourite classic recipes and we think that’s cause for celebration.
When you have apples stocked in the kitchen, a sweet and warming apple pie or crumble isn’t too far away. Not to mention a flavoursome apple stuffing to accompany crispy pork belly or apple and cinnamon muffins served with a hot cuppa.
These favourites are just part of the reason we love cooking with apples and luckily enough, with so many varieties available to us in Australia – we can buy them year round.
Have a look at our helpful guide to choosing, storing, preparing and cooking with apples:
- Blush pink colouring with a slightly yellow upper
- Also known as a Crispps apple but sold as the Pink Lady apple
- Named after John Cripps a Western Australian farmer
- Availability: All months except March/April
- Best in: Fabulous to eat fresh or in sweet or savoury tarts and fresh salads
- Known for it’s distinct tangy yet sweet flavour
- In 1985 this now popular variety was deemed suitable for export and named in honour of Maria Smith beloved granny
- Availability: All months except March/April
- Best in: pies, apple turnovers, sweet desserts
- Golden in colour with a smooth skin
- Availability: March – August
- Best in: The creamy white flesh of this apple is absolutely perfect for creating apple sauce
- Try using this apple alongside the red delicious apple for a visually gorgeous tart or pie
- Deep red colouring with faint lenticels (spots)
- Very sweet flavour works well in flavour applications where there is a contrast e.g. with savoury and salty flavours
- Availability: March – December
- Best in: Although this apple is great in desserts, the sweet flavour is great in apple slaw served with pork or in a crisp apple salad
- Soft pink colouring with distinct lenticels (spots)
- Round variety that is generally smaller than most apples
- Availability: March – September
- Best in: The sweet aromatic flavour and small shape of this variety makes it great for fresh eating or poaching, to be served with morning oats
- Soft pink colouring with a slightly green tinge around the stem of the apple
- Newest variety, this apple was only brought onto the market in 2009
- Sweet and slightly tangy flavour
- Availability: May – October
- Best in: This apple has a great balance between sweet and tangy, making cooking with apples extremely versatile
- Sweeter flavour than other varieties
- Originated in Japan
- Availability: April – October
- Best in: It’s super sweet flavour is great for eating raw, or using in sauces or salads that will be served with savoury ingredients
How to pick
Always choose an apple variety that is in season for optimum quality and taste. Look for fruit that is firm and without bruises and blemishes.
How to store: fridge vs fruit bowl
This debate all depends on your kitchen conditions. Storing in a fruit bowl is suitable when the conditions are cool and dry. If you choose this method you must also be aware of the other fruits in the bowl. For example you wouldn’t want to store ethylene producing fruits like apples, pears and avocados with ethylene sensitive fruits like bananas.
If you feel as if your fruit is beginning to over-ripen, put it in the crisper section of your fridge. You will also want to store your apples in the fridge if the air temperature is hot or you simply want to enjoy your fruit nice and cold.
Depending on what you wish to do with your apples, here a few preparation methods:
Juicing: Amazingly, many juicers will take whole apples, making it nice and easy to make fresh fruit juice. If not just cut the apple in quarters.
Sweet desserts: Some recipes will call for cubed apples, others for nice thin slices. Whichever way, start by peeling the skin, then using a spoon or apple corer to remove the seeds and stem. Once seedless, slice or cube your apple into pieces of your choosing.
Salads or slaws: When using in salads or slaws, keep the skin on for extra crunch. Then, simply cut in half and remove the stem and seeds, place on its flat side and use a large utility nice to cut thin slices.
TIP: Put a small amount of lemon juice on fresh cut apple pieces to stop them from browning.
- High in Vitamin C and B
- Fat free
- High in dietary fibre
- Low GI
Ideas for cooking with apples
Start with a simple flavour combination like apple and cinnamon or apple and pork and you already have something fabulous. Put these combinations into action with great recipes and you have a winner. Pies, tarts, crumbles and more, there are endless ideas for apple desserts but don’t forget how delicious apple is in savoury recipes and applications.
For inspiration on cooking with apples, here are a few of the ideas that you will find in our collection. Collect them into your own personal cookbooks on myfoodbook or download the myfoodbook app to get access to free e-books for your iPhone and iPad.
If you need a few extra winter cooking ideas to go with your delicious apple recipe ideas, download your copy of the Winter Warmers Foodbook 2016 here.