Tips for baking with apples

News-DemocratSeptember 23, 2013 

When it comes to cooking with apples, it may be helpful to know the following:

1 pound of apples = 2 large, 3 medium, or 4 to 5 small apples

1 pound of apples = 3 cups peeled and sliced apples

What makes a great baking apple?

The best have a good sweet-tart balance and their flesh won't break down as they cook.

For a dessert that's complex in flavor and pleasing in texture, mix tart apples with firm baking apples.

Granny Smith -- Crisp and quite sour. Generally thought of as the go-to baking apple. A good all-purpose cooking apple, with a flavor that is enhanced when paired with sweeter, spicier apples in pies and crisps.

Honeycrisp -- Our desert-island apple. Its shatteringly crisp texture is guaranteed to hold firm when baked or caramelized.

Crispin -- Large, yellow-green fruit is very juicy and super crisp. It has a sweet, refreshing flavor. A less-tart option similar in flavor to a Golden Delicious. Great for pies or other recipes that call for gentle cooking.

Pink Lady -- Balanced between sweet, tart, and tannic notes. It will retain a distinct shape when diced and added to coffee cake or a morning muffin.

Othe apples to consider:

Cortland -- Juicy and slightly tart, with bright red skin and snowy white flesh. They are a terrific baking apple: use in pies, cobblers, and crisps.

Empire -- Cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious apples. Firm-textured and slightly tart, the Empire is a fine all-purpose apple good for sauce, pies, baking, salads, fresh eating, and freezing.

Golden Delicious -- Sweet, with a rich, mellow flavor. It is one of the best all-around cooking apples, as it maintains its shape after baking.

Jonagold -- A blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples, Jonagolds have a tangy-sweet flavor. With a yellow-green base and a blush stripe, it is excellent both for eating fresh and for cooking.

Winesap -- Very firm and aromatic, with a spicy bite. A sweet-flavored apple, Winesaps are good in sauces and for baking.

Red Delicious -- Were bred to be an eating apple and truly are unsuitable for baking.

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