Apple season is in full swing, and that means apples are crisper, sweeter and riper than ever, with dozens of varieties available at pick-your-own orchards and farmers’ markets. And if you find yourself trying to decide between Mutsu, Empire, Cortland, Pink Lady and other unfamiliar apple varieties, wondering which is good for cooking, baking and eating out-of-hand, The Apple Lover’s Cookbook by Amy Traverso is the perfect book to have by your side.
Amy includes a reference section that describes 59 great apple varieties in-depth (with pictures!), but for ease of use, she also divides all apples into four general categories: firm-tart, firm-sweet, tender-tart and tender-sweet. There’s even an “apple varieties cheat sheet,” dividing the apples into these categories, that I may Xerox before heading to the farmers’ market.
The recipes, which span from savory meat pies to apple tarts and breakfast through dinner dishes, all include a general apple category suggestion (and occasionally a specific variety suggestion), so you’ll know you’re using the best type of apple for each recipe. It’s amazing and sure to get you out of the familiar Granny-Smith-for-baking rut.
Here are a few apple recipes from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook to get you started:
- Apple-Studded Brown Butter Streusel Coffee Cake – Since this cake has a tender texture, Amy suggests using a sweet apple, like Fuji or Gala.
- Free-Form Apple-Pear-Cranberry Tart – Firm-tart apples are suggested for this rustic tart, like Granny Smith or Northern Spy.
- Williamsburg Wrapples – Amy’s version of the signature pastry of a bakery in Williamsburg, Mass., a “wrapple” is like a hand-held apple pie packet. Slices of cinnamon-spiced, firm-tart apples are wrapped in buttery pastry, baked and drizzled with a sugar glaze.
We’re giving away one copy of The Apple Lover’s Cookbook! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling us your favorite apple variety.
You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate back with you if you’re a winner. (But do not post your email address into the actual body of the comment.) We’re giving one copy away to one very lucky, randomly selected commenter.
You may only comment once to be considered, and you don’t have to purchase anything to win; a purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Odds depend on total number of entries. Void where prohibited. Only open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. states, D.C. or Puerto Rico, and you must be at least 18 years of age to win. All entries (comments) must be entered between 4:00 p.m. ET on September 30th and 5:00 p.m. ET on October 3rd. Subject to full Official Rules. By leaving a comment on the blog, you acknowledge your acceptance to the Official Rules. ARV of prize: $29.95. Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC, d/b/a/ Cooking Channel, 75 9th Ave., New York, NY 10011.
So tell us, what’s your favorite apple variety?
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