Apple What? Apple Who? Varieties + Uses

Of the nearly 7,000 varieties of apples grown in the United States we match up eight common varieties with their ideal preparation and usage for you autumnal cooking adventures. And to get you through these adventures we've also included some equivalents when it comes to chopping and measuring. You now have no excuse to take full advantage of this year's incredible apple crop, get cookin! 

 

 

HOW MANY APPLES IS THAT?
1 large apple = 2 cups sliced or chopped = 1 1/2 cups finely chopped 

1 medium apple = 1 1/3 cups sliced or chopped = 1 cup finely chopped

1 small apple = 3/4 cup sliced or chopped = 3/4 cup finely chopped 

1 pound apples = 4 small apples or 3 medium apples or about 2 large apples

Peck = 10-1/2 pounds

Bushel = 42 pounds (yields 20-24 quarts of applesauce)

illustrations by Ashley Mary

Preserving: Applesauce

Canning used to be the only way the family farm could enjoy fruit and the flavors of summer during winter months. Farmers would share resources and can large quantities of apples, peaches, or anything they grew in abundance and could share with the neighbors. My Grandmother Tootie always had homemade applesauce around and she always liked to share. Below is our version of Tootie's applesauce recipe that we love to eat alone, spoon over ice-cream or serve on top of pork chops.  We rarely get to actually canning this recipe because it gets eaten up so quickly from the fridge.  

Our favorite apples for sauce are Cortlands, McIntosh and Gala apples. We toss in a one or two green Granny Smith for a hint of tartness.

Our favorite apples for sauce are Cortlands, McIntosh and Gala apples. We toss in a one or two green Granny Smith for a hint of tartness.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8-9 Sweet red Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices 
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices
  • 1 cup of Apple Cider
  • Juice Of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 cup  Light Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • Large pinch of Nutmeg & AllSpice 
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter 

Cooking Applesauce is extremely forgiving, just make sure to taste as you go. 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine all of above ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. At about medium heat this should take 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently because you do not want the apples to burn to the bottom of your pot. 

2. Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes or until the apple slices break down and become mushy. Continue to stir frequently, and use a potato masher occasionally to help break down the apples. If you want a super chunky apples sauce, stop here and toss sauce into jars, allowing to cool before you cover and refrigerate.

3. For a traditional smoother sauce we use an emulsion blender directly into the pot with the heat turned off to puree the sauce. Stand back because the sauce is extremely hot and willing to splatter. 

4. Transfer sauce to mason jars, allowing to cool before you cover and refrigerate. Unopened jars will last weeks in the fridge.