by Guest Columnist & KosherEye Friend, Eileen Goltz
The song starts out “I love you a bushel and a peck” and while I know they’re not referring to apples, the lyrics always come to mind this Yontif time of year when there is an over abundance of apple varieties. Gala, Golden Delicious, Rome, Macintosh, Granny Smith, Pippen, and a host of others are there, just waiting to be picked (or picked up at the grocery) and served.
The choices you will make will depend on if you want to chomp down on the freshest of the fresh or cook them up in a special dish or just serve with apples and honey.
Rather than bore you, my faithful reader with lots of factoids, I’d thought I’d get down to the nitty gritty helpful stuff and give you some practical info that will help you make your choice of variety easier and help you gage exactly how many apples you’ll need to create your culinary masterpieces for Rosh Hashanna and any other holiday meal.
• 1 lb. = about 4 small apples
• 1 lb. = about 3 medium apples
• 1 lb. = about 2 large apples
• 1 lb. sliced = about 2 cups
• 1 lb. diced = about 3 cups
• 2 medium grated = 1 cup
Best Apple Tip: When you slice an apple it has a tendency to brown quickly if you don’t use it right away. The best way to prevent this and not use lemon juice (which tends to change the flavor of the apple is to mix a quarter cup of apple juice with a cup of water and pour over the sliced apples. Drain and use when needed.
When you choose your apple look for FIRM and brightly colored apples. Apples do not ripen after being taken off the tree, so the color you see is the color you get. If they are waxed, wash them well.
Types of Apples and What To Do With Them:
• Braeburn Apples
These are usually is orange/ red on a yellow color. Delicious raw and great in salads. Also good in pies, sauces and baking.
• Cortland: Sweet/semi tart red apple on green/yellow color. Delicious raw and great in salads. Ok but not great in pies, sauces and baking.
• Empire: A green and red apple that has a sweet/tart taste. Delicious raw and, pretty good for pies, sauces and baking.
• Fuji: A sweet, red/pink apple. Delicious raw and great in pies, sauces and baking. Short shelf life. Use immediately
• Gala: Has pink stripes on a yellow background. A very sweet apple. Delicious raw and salads. Also great for pies and baking but I don’t care for it in sauces.
• Golden Delicious: A sweet, yellow apple that is wonderful for just about everything you want to make.
• Granny Smith: This is a very tart green apple. Terrific for anything you want to make and it’s available year around.
• Honeycrisp: This apple is best raw and ok baking and sauces but not for pies, it breaks down too much when cooked.
• Jonagold: A cross between the Jonathan and the Golden Delicious apple. Sweet and tart combined. Good for most just about anything you want to make.
• Jonathan: A tart red/green apple. Good for most just about anything you want to make.
• McIntosh: This is a green/ red apple that’s mostly sweet with just a hint of tart. Best raw or in sauces.
• Red Delicious: Sweet and popular and available year around. Best raw terrible for baking.
• Rome Beauty: One of my favorite baking apples. Not too sweet and can be used for just about anything.
About the Author
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics for various newspapers, magazines and websites across the U.S., Canada, and South Africa as well as the OU Shabbat Shalom Website. She is the author of Perfectly Parve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Group, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press and Woman’s World Magazine. You can visit Eileen's blog at CuisinebyEileen.com.