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Crunchy, juicy, tangy or sweet, we love apples!
It is the favorite fruit of the Americans with an average of 10 pounds consumed per year and per household.
The apple can be tasted easily and it is eaten all year round.And yet, the apple trees flower in spring to give their fruits at maturity in August.
So where do the apples that we buy on the market stalls from January to December come from?
Green, yellow, red, what varieties of apples are recommended for cooking?
- The origins of the apple
- Apple production
- The different varieties of apple
- The right tools for working with apples in the kitchen
- Cooking times for the apple
- The health benefits of the apple
- How to choose an apple?
- The different drinks and dishes known around the apple
- Our Favorite Recipe: Whole Apples with Almonds
You know the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
Does the apple really have benefits for our health?
We tell you everything and we share our favorite gourmet recipe: Whole Apples with Almonds.
The origins of the apple
The apple is part of the Rosaceae family, like a large majority of our cultivated fruits.
The apple tree is magnificent in ornamentation at the time of flowering. After giving birth to its buds, pretty flowers appear which will give generous sweet pip fruits: apples.
Central Asia is the cradle of apples where we find the ancestor variety Malus sieversii from wild apple trees.
These orchards are still thriving today and the variety has contributed to the evolution and development of the many varieties consumed today.
Apples are grown everywhere on all continents these days.
A temperate climate with cold in winter and sun in summer allows a good harvest yield.
However, thanks to the creation and selection of new varieties of apples, one can obtain varieties of apples that grow even in Africa.
The leading apple producer state is the Washington State and produces half of nation’s grown apples.
Apple picking takes place from August to October.
However, it is a fruit that can be consumed all year round because it has the best storage capacity.
The different varieties of apple
The variety of apple most consumed in France is the Red Delicious apples soft and sweet.
We also know very well the granny smith variety of bright green color, rather crunchy and tangy.
Then also the red gala, firm and juicy.
But there are many other varieties as well. There are more than 400 varieties.
Breeders are constantly looking for varieties that are the most adapted to climatic hazards with the best taste results and the best yield.
The different varieties of apple are more or less suitable for raw consumption or for making compotes, jellies, cakes or even making cider.
Consumed raw, chewable or added to the composition of your salads, we will prefer:
- Golden: sweet, juicy and firm
- Granny smith: crunchy and tangy
- The fuji: fine, tender and crunchy flesh, the most popular on the Asian market
- Pink lady: crossbreeding with lady williams which keeps well and golden delicious which has a high sugar content
- Red delicious: old variety with juicy and fragrant flesh
For cooking a compote or an apple in the oven, we will rather choose:
- Golden: sweet, juicy and firm
- The gray pippin from Canada: sweet and soft, it caramelizes well
- Boskoop: sweet, juicy apple, slightly tangy
- Elstar: soft and mellow
To bake a pie and get nice apple wedges, you’ll need firmer apples that hold up when cooked. We’ll opt for:
- The golden: sweet, juicy and firm for a bettercooking
- The pink lady: very sweet
- The elstar: soft and mellow, firm flesh
- The chanteclerc: rustic variety with a good balance between sweet and slightly acid, fine and melting
- The braeburn: a deliciously sweet old variety
- The gray pippin from Canada : sweet and soft, it caramelizes well
- The Red calville: old variety, light flesh, melting, slightly acidic
If however, you do not have the possibility of a wide choice of apples on the stalls, the golden remains all the same the most versatile apple in the kitchen.
The right tools for working with apples in the kitchen
The apple can be eaten with or without the skin.
If, however, you need to peel the skin, you will need a peeler.
This model is very efficient and allows you to peel the apple in a jiffy with precision.
The apple cutter:
Ultra practical for cutting your apple in a single step, removing the core of the apples at the same time and obtaining quarters.
The classic apple corer:
The apple corer will make it easier for you in the kitchen to remove only the core of the apple without cutting it.
Very useful when you want to keep the whole apple.
It is essential for making good stuffed baked apples.
The apple peeler:
The apple peeler is very useful for peeling apples in large quantities.
There is the electric version but in reality the manual tool looks so good on the kitchen counter.
An essential tool for making even apple slices. With the mandoline, you can prepare pretty apple pies with finesse.
Cooking times for the apple
In the oven: 20 to 30 min whole and without peeling it
In the pan: 10 min quartered
The health benefits of the apple
What about the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? In your opinion true or false?
Well unfortunately not so true but still.
“Eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day” is the same idea.
Being healthy depends on what you choose to put on your plate every day.
For sure! And fruits and vegetables that are low in calories, packed with nutrients and fiber contribute to a balanced and healthier diet.
Even though it is not so easy for everyone to consume fruits and vegetables, it is good to be aware of their essential place on our plate and of the nutritional interest they bring to our body.
Also, with the help of a few simple and effective recipes, we can very well regularly introduce fruits and vegetables into our diet while having pleasure in eating.
But back to the apple because eaten raw, compote or juice, it alone brings its benefits to the body.
It helps to fight against fatigue, lower cholesterol levels, better digestion, restore a sluggish transit. It’s pretty good!
It’s no longer a secret for anyone, the apple is also a good ally for weight loss diets because, in addition to being low in calories (on average 60 Kcal per 0.220 lbs consumed), it is an excellent appetite suppressant. natural.
The apple pectins will absorb water and increase the food bolus which will reduce the feeling of hunger.
Also, thanks to pectin, the apple helps to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the blood.
The apple is rich in fiber essential for the proper functioning of the transit.
It satisfies whether taken at the end of a meal or as an appetite suppressant during the day.
Consumed raw and grated, it stops diarrhea. Once cooked and stewed it is laxative and accelerates transit.
How to choose an apple?
A beautiful apple has smooth skin, without bruises, and a very green peduncle.
If you are lucky enough to pick the apple fresh from the orchard, the apple will come off at the peduncle and if it is ripe for consumption, the peduncle should come off easily.
The seeds must be black in color and stand out well for an apple to be ripe.
If the seeds are white, it means that the apple is not yet ripe to be eaten.
How are apples stored?
The apple is not such a fragile fruit. It can easily be kept for several days at room temperature or in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.
It can also be stored in a cool room such as the garage or a ventilated basement, but avoid the too humid cellar.
40 to 50 degrees is the ideal temperature for storing your apples.
The different drinks and dishes known around the apple
The apple is used in the making of cider, a drink resulting from the fermentation of apple juice.
You can find raw or sweet cider, it is just the level of maturation stage that differentiates them.
There is also cider vinegar which brings a softer and sweeter note to your vinaigrette preparations.
The apple is of course part of our diet since our earliest childhood in the form of compote, eaten in raw wedges or in apple juice.
We taste it in all its forms.
The apple, because of its sweet, caramelized side, is an excellent accompaniment to a traditional dish whose centerpiece is blood sausage.
In pastries, we inevitably find in our bakeries the famous apple pies that evokes our childhood memories.
A delicacy found at fairgrounds and which makes young and old dream: the candy apple, coated in sugar colored red.
For dessert, we know the Norman apple pie or the famous tarte tatin, an upside-down tart with deliciously caramelized apples.
But also the very English apple pie which is served with ice cream or fresh cream or the Central European pastry strudel very popular in Austria, Germany or Switzerland.
Our Favorite Recipe: Whole Apples with Almonds
Here is a dessert, healthy, gourmet and easy to make with few dishes and which will reconcile you with desserts! What I like in this recipe is that we work on the taste around the apple which is not distorted either in taste or in aesthetics since we work it whole.
Number of people: 4 – Preparation and cooking time: 55 mins – Easy level
- 4 large apples (golden type, the apples must be sweet and hold well when cooked)
- 1 tbsp allspice 40g
- whole almonds
- 1 vanilla pod or vanilla sugar
- 1tbsp icing sugar
- 2 biscuits
- 1 egg 1
- tbsp brown sugar
Preparation Method :
- Wash the apples and save the skin.
- Dig a cone by removing the core and its pips.
- Arrange the apples in a baking dish.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Th6).
- Cream the butter with the 4 spices and the vanilla.
- Coarsely crush whole almonds in a blender and mix with the butter.
- Stuff each apple with this butter.
- Make a crumble with 2 biscuits, 1 egg and 1 tbsp of sugar and spread the pieces of crumble over the apples.
- Put in the oven and cook for 40 minutes.
- Pan-fry your slivered almonds to roast them.
- Arrange the plates by sprinkling the apples with icing sugar and slivered almonds. Serve hot or lukewarm.
Here is a little overview to appreciate the apple even more and to cook it in all its forms.
Feel free to leave a comment or share your preparation.
Enjoy your lunch!