We all know the value — and ease — of eating an apple out of hand, but this versatile fall fruit can also be baked, broiled or poached, as well as turned into apple juice, apple cider or apple sauce. Whether you’re at the grocery store or the farmers market, you’re likely to encounter at least a couple different apple varieties, so make sure you pick fruit that fits with how you plan to enjoy it. Read on for tips on shopping for, storing and prepping apples.
How to shop for apples
- Apples should be firm and feel heavy for their size. Make sure the skin is smooth and free of nicks, wrinkles or soft spots.
- There are hundreds of varieties of apple and what’s available can vary by region. For regular snacking, seek out apples that are sweet, juicy and crisp, such as Fuji, Gala, McIntosh and Jonagold. When baking, you want apples that are firm enough to hold their shape; Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady all fit the bill. If you’re making a pie, tart, crumble or crisp, consider using a mix of apples to achieve more interesting flavor.
How to store apples
- Store apples in an unsealed plastic bag in the refrigerator; they should last a few weeks.
- Apples release ethylene gas, which speeds up ripening of other fruit, so you may want to store them in their own bag, separate from other fruits.
How to prepare apples
- Apples are easy to peel with a vegetable peeler. However, apple skins contain fiber and vitamins so if you don’t mind the taste or texture, leave it on for a more nutritious snack.
- Use a melon baller to quickly remove the cores and stems from apples.
Great apple recipes to try:
Lauren Salkeld is a New York-based writer, editor and recipe developer. She's the cookbook columnist for Tasting Table and has written for Food & Wine, Rodale's Organic Life, Epicurious and Gourmet.