Apples are an autumn treat appealing to all the senses. The sight of heavy red fruit on sturdy trees all lined in a row is a picker's dream. The feel of plucking the perfect one on a crisp day is the epitome of fall itself, and the crunch of the first bite is enough to make a mouth water. The comforting smells mixed with cinnamon wafting from a warm oven is enough to wrap anyone in the cozy nostalgia of their childhood. Apples are also healthy with two kinds of fiber; soluble and insoluble. They even give a kick with vitamin C and potassium.
On this 29th day of August, in the dog days of summer, most of us are focused on back to school and closing pools and camps. Our fall events calendar is still weeks away. Consider this: some orchards are already in full swing. There are several varieties already ripened and ready to be picked. My McIntosh tree is full of scarlet globes just waiting for me to wave my spatula and oven mitt to transform them into pies and crisps. It's important to know when the apples are ripe and what they are best used for. Not every apple is suitable for substitution. Get the recipe box out because here’s the breakdown reminder.
Ready to pick Variety Uses Storage
August Jersey Mac eating, baking, sauce short term
Mid Aug-early Sept Gala everything, sauces are best refrigerate
Mid Aug-early Sept Paula Red everything but juice must refrigerate
September Ginger Gold eating, salads short term
September McIntosh everything but baking medium term
September Honey Crisp best for eating and juice medium term
Mid-late Sept Golden Delicious everything, especially sauce refrigerate
Mid-late Sept Cortland everything except baking medium term
Mid-late Sept Jonagold eating, juice, very good sauce long term
Mid Sept-early Oct Empire everything long term
Late Sept-early Oct Northern Spy eating, best for pies & sauce very good
Mid-late Oct Granny Smith eating, baking, juice long term
Mid-late Oct Macoun eating, salads short term
Make memories with the family by bringing along a camera and enjoying the day.