Here are some tips for picking and storing apples:
- Twist or turn the apple from the branch. If you pull it, the buds next to it will break off and not bear fruit next year.
- Don’t rely on redness as a guide to flavor. Apples come in all shades of reds, yellows and greens. Choose clear colored apples. Often those with an intense green undercast or undertone are not completely ripe. Those with a dull yellowish-green undercast may be too ripe.
- Choose apples that are free from bruises, blemishes and skin breaks. They should be firm with no soft spots or bruises.
- When apples are thumped lightly with the knuckle, they should sound hollow, but not dull. Their smell should be flowery and aromatic.
- For crisp, juicy apples, store in their plastic bag in the crisper part of the refrigerator, at 30 to 32 degrees. The freezing point of apples, which is damaging to the fruit, is about 28 or 29 degrees. Wash just before using, as their protective coating helps keep them from becoming dehydrated and bruised.
Apples are best when at their freshest. Orchards and roadside stands are overflowing with their best products of the season. This is the ideal time to visit apple orchards, stands, and produce centers, and savor the delectable fruits of the harvest.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for cookies, from my apple cookbook, From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers:
2 1/4 cups flour
l teaspoon baking powder
l teaspoon baking soda
l/2 teaspoon salt
l/4 teaspoon cinnamon
l/4 teaspoon nutmeg
l/2 cup (l stick) butter or margarine
l cup brown sugar
l/4 cup milk
2 cups apples, peeled and grated
l/2 cup chopped nuts
Sift dry ingredients. Cream butter and brown sugar. Add egg. Stir in dry ingredients with milk, apples, and nuts. Mix well. Drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes. Glaze cookies with the following while still warm:
l cup confectioners’ sugar
l tablespoon soft butter or margarine
l-2 tablespoons milk
l/2 teaspoon vanilla
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies
Enjoy visiting apple orchards and savoring the fruit of their bounty!
Best to you,
Apple cookbook author: From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers,
Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards