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Chef's Hat: Autumn is for apples

While cruising around the Internet last night I ran across an apple growers website that informed me October is National Apple Month. Well, that should be no surprise since late September through October is a great time to find a large variety of apples in stores and at farmer’s markets. And if you are lucky enough to be close to an apple orchard, now is a great time to be going out and sampling various kinds of apples.

There are, of course, some apples that are suited better for cooking than others. One of my favorites, and seems to be the favorite of most people I know, is the Honeycrisp. Although it is more of an eating apple, I have used it in apple crisps and cobblers and the dish has turned out very well.

Many sources say for baking you want a firmer apple and one that is a bit on the sour side. A few recommended apple varieties for baking are: Haralson, Paula Red, McIntosh, Regent, Fireside and Wealthy. The only time I have found that the apple variety is a big issue is when making baked apples. If the apple is too soft, it disintegrates while it is baking.

But for the most part if you want to use a sweet apple like a Honeygold or Sweet Sixteen, in a cobbler or pie, it shouldn’t be an issue. You might have to adjust your sugar, but I’ve used a lot of sweet apple varieties in pies and muffins and they always turn out great.

Apple Crisp is always a favorite and very easy to make. The recipe is so common it probably doesn’t need to be reprinted, but in case you don’t have a cookbook handy or want to go searching online, I’ve included the recipe.

No matter if you’re making a pie, cake, caramel apples, or simply taking an apple from the bag and munching on it, get out there and enjoy those great Minnesota apples while you can. Happy Eating!