Apple season is finally upon us! At Kimmel Orchard, a variety of different apples are grown. Each variety is uniquely delicious and can be eaten straight off the tree (after washing of course). Even though this fruit is delicious alone, apples can be a great addition to both fresh and cooked dishes. However, it can be difficult to navigate what each apple is best used for. Most apples are versatile and can be used in many different ways! Find a list of all the cultivars of apples we grow and how they are best prepared below!
Apple Varieties - Blushing Gold, Braeburn, Cameo, Empire, Enterprise, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Idared, Jonagold, Jonathan, Pink Lady, Pinova, Red Delicious, Shizuka, Suncrisp, Winesap, and Zestar
Baking - The best apples for baking are those that hold their structure and don't turn to mush while in the oven. To be honest, most apples can be baked but here are some of the most recommended ones that will still be flavorful and composed after heating. The king of baking is Granny Smith apples. They help balance sweetness with their tart flavor and hold their shape in the presence of heat. Braeburn, Enterprise, Fuji, Ginger Gold, Honeycrisp, Idared, Jonagold, Pink Lady, and Winesap also do exceptionally well with baking. Golden Delicious and Red Delicious should be avoided when baking because of their soft nature.
Cider - Cider apples really depend on preference. Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, and Winesap are all good apple cultivars for a sweeter cider. For a more acidic flavor, Braeburn, Jonathan, and Pink Lady apples are the route to go! Blending apples from both categories creates a cider with the best of both worlds!
Drying - Dehydrating apples are a healthier form of a potato chip! Plus, they are pretty tasty too. Fuji or Gala apples are the best for drying because of their sweet flavor. Other apples that are good for dehydrating include Blushing Gold, Ginger Gold, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp. For a dried apple with reduced sweetness, Granny Smith is the way to go.
Freezing - Apples that are hardy, strong, and have a snappy texture are perfect for freezing. Empire, Golden Delicious, and Jonagold have those qualities and will survive the low temperatures of your freezer.
Salad - While all apples are great for eating fresh, specifically on salads, some apples don't do as well baked and are much better enjoyed fresh. These include Cameo, Pinova, Shizuka, Suncrisp, and Zestar. Most of these do well fresh, as they do not brown quickly and pair nicely with cheese. It can't get better than that!
Sauce - Just like cider, applesauce is all about preference! If you like sweet to mildly sweet applesauce Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp achieve this goal. As for crisp, tangy, and sharp, Braeburn, Idared, and Jonathan apple varieties will get the job done.
Storage - Although this isn't a way to prepare apples, it is helpful to know what apples store the best and longest. Some are even said to taste better with age! Blushing Gold, Cameo, Enterprise, Fuji, Ginger Gold, Granny Smith, Idared, Pink Lady, Pinova, Suncrisp, Winesap, and Zestar all store for a fairly long time in the right conditions. Almost all apples can be stored for a length of time if done properly, but the apples not listed here are said to taste best closer to harvest.
There are so many different apple cultivars grown in the orchard! Check out the "Orchard Fruit" section of our website to learn more about the flavors of each apple and when they are ready for harvest. Tag Kimmel Orchard on Facebook and/or Instagram in your apple recipes and photos to show us your favorite way to enjoy our apples! We love to see the creative ways our guests prepare our produce!
Alyssa Rosenbaum - Education and Food Safety Intern