Autumn’s Best Cooked Apples

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Yummy Cooked Apples!

When Abby shared some of her favorite things of fall, I knew it was time for me to put a pot of apples on the stove.  Apples are plentiful this time of year in the United States.  Not only are they available at farmers markets but even the grocery stores are selling from new crops.

Cooked apples compliment a breakfast casserole, work perfectly as a brunch side dish,  or easily stand alone in a healthy and delicious “I need a snack” moment.


My sous chef dish-washing mom will happily clean-up a kitchen full of pots, pans, and bowls when there are apples simmering on the stove-top!

Truly, any type apples work in this recipe. With over 2,500 varieties in the U.S. alone, here is a short list of common choices.

Comparing Apples to Apples

This information came from All Recipes.com site.

Braeburn

Braeburns have a sweet-tart flavor, with a texture that remains firm when it’s baked. An all-purpose apple, it works well in pies and tarts where you don’t want the filling to be overly juicy.  For cooked apples, Braeburn works well but add a little extra water to begin.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Braeburn Apples

Photo by Meredith

Cortland

Cortlands are juicy and slightly tart, with bright red skin and snowy white flesh. They are a terrific baking apple: Use in pies, cobblers, and crisps. When sliced, Cortlands are excellent for salads and cheese plates, as the flesh doesn’t brown and discolor quickly.  Cortland works well for cooked apples because they stay pretty and white while cooking.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Cortland Apple

Photo by Meredith

Empire

Empires are a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious apples. Firm-textured and sweet-tart, the Empire is a fine all-purpose apple good for juice, sauce, pies, baking, salads, eating fresh, and drying.  I haven’t tried an Empire apple but will be looking for these next trip to the market.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Empire Apple

Photo by Meredith

Fuji

Firm, crisp, and juicy, Fuji apples are among the most popular apples for eating fresh, but they’re also great for baking, as they hold their shape when they cook. We love Fuji apples and use them in cooked apples and soon I will share a fabulous apple pie recipe made by my Sous Chef Dish-washing mom!

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Fuji Apples

Photo by Meredith

Gala

A crisp, sweet apple with a mild flavor, Galas have yellow-orange skin with red striping. They’re best for salads, eating out-of-hand, applesauce, and pressing into cider.  Gala are a perfect apple to use in cooking apples. Really sweet!

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Gala Apple

Photo by Meredith

Golden Delicious

The Golden Delicious is sweet, with a rich, mellow flavor. It is one of the best all-around cooking apples, as it maintains its shape after baking. I don’t use Golden Delicious much because they always seem too soft and I don’t want them mushy.  Maybe if they are super fresh they will cook well.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Golden Delicious Apples

Photo by Meredith

Granny Smith

One of the most popular tart apples, Granny Smiths are crisp and quite sour. They’re a good all-purpose cooking apple, and their flavor is enhanced when paired with sweeter, spicier apples in pies and crisps.  When using Granny Smith for this cooked apple recipe you will need to add a little extra water to begin.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Granny Smith Apples

Photo by Meredith

Honeycrisp

Developed in Minnesota and introduced fairly recently, Honeycrisps are fantastic eating apples. As the name indicates, they are crisp and juicy, with a honey-sweet and tart flavor. Honeycrisps are also good for baking and applesauce.  I adore Honeycrisp apples and highly recommend for cooked apples!

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Honeycrisp Apple

Photo by Meredith

Jonagold

A blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples, Jonagolds have a tangy-sweet flavor. With a yellow-green base and a blush stripe, is excellent both for eating fresh and for cooking.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Jonagold Apples

Photo by Meredith

Jonathan

Jonathans are quite tart, with a rich, slightly spicy apple flavor. They hold their shape well when baked. They are also good in salads and for applesauce.   Jonathan’s are a good apple to mix with a sweeter apple for rich cooked apples or chunky applesauce.

Best Apples for Baking and Cooking | Jonathan Apples

Photo by Meredith

I haven’t even scratched the surface of apple choices and you can find a few more here.  Mainly I want you to realize you can use whatever you have on hand.

Even though some apples are better suited for certain kinds of recipes than others, you don’t have to limit yourself to using just one kind of apple when you’re cooking or baking. Many cooks like to use a mixture of apples to get more complex flavors and textures.

If you’re buying apples during autumn’s apple season at farmers’ markets and specialty grocers, you have a better chance of finding regional and heirloom varieties. Be sure to ask the grower how they work in recipes!

I often cook these apples while making the rest of the breakfast.  A few minutes peeling and chunky apples and they can simmer until you are ready to put on the table.

One thing I know for sure — as soon as my Chief apple-loving husband and Sous Chef Dish-washing mom see this blog post they will be asking “when? soon? today?”  I can count on it.

Happy Cooking!
~Catherine


Autumn's Best Cooked Apples
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Uses for cooked apples can be as varied as types of apples available! Learning how to cook up a pot of apples will make this a go-to recipe when in a only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="193" data-gr-id="193">hurry, when planning a special breakfast or brunch, or just to cook up for the kids when they get home from school!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack!
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6 apples - your choice of variety - you can also mix and match for awesome flavors
  • water
  • 2 Tablespoons to ¼ cup brown sugar*
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice or cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Peel apples and cut in 1" chunks. Place in 2-3 quart saucepan.
  2. Cover bottom of a saucepan with ½" to 1" of water. If the apples are not a juicy variety, you may add more water as they cook.
  3. Sprinkle with spice.
  4. Cook over medium bringing to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Add sugar. Cook at least 10 to 15 minutes until apples are starting to release juice. Stir often. Stirring a bit briskly will mush the apples some and provide more of an "applesauce".
  5. Add more water if there is not enough juice released to cook the apples.
  6. Check taste for sweetness - sugar to taste. Add vanilla extract.
  7. Remove from stove, cool slightly, Enjoy!
Notes
* Apples can be sprinkled with Jack Daniels Whiskey or favorite bourbon before serving for an added kick of conversation!
* Spice can be varied to taste.
* Honey may be used in place of brown sugar.
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2 thoughts on “Autumn’s Best Cooked Apples”

  1. Jonathans have always been my favorite for eating and cooking, but just this year we have discovered Honeycrisps. Wow, I’ve been missing out! I love everything about apples, butt I think the best thing is how they make my kitchen smell when they’re cooking. Happy Fall, Cousin!!! p.s. Glad you’re blogging again!

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