An Apple A Day
It’s apple season with a dizzying selection of varieties from Gala to Cortland, Pippin, Honey Crisp and the list goes on. Visit a local apple orchard and check out the choices. Be careful though to choose the right apple for baking as opposed to eating. Honey Crisp are great munchers and lunch box snacks but Cortland and Northern Spy are my choices for baking. Cortland holds up beautifully in pies, as do McIntosh. Both varieties make great balked apples because they hold their shape. They make great applesauce too.
Make fresh farm picked apples last longer by buying varieties late in the harvest season like the end of October. Keep them in a cool area like a garage or cellar or in your refrigerator. The best storage temperature is around 34 degrees F. Don't keep apples in plastic bags as the moisture in the bag will cause them to soften and loose their crispiness. If you store a lot of apples, wrap them individually in paper towels and store them in a cool place or in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator but not with vegetables because apples can pick up vegetable odors and taste, especially from onions. So store them away from vegetables.
Peel, cut and freeze apples for apple pies, crisps and cobblers. Once sliced, lay them in single rows on baking sheet and freeze until hard. Transfer to plastic bags and freeze until needed.
Fried apple rings are one of the best fall desserts and best consumed warm with a crunchy sugar coating
Fried Apple Rings
1 teaspoon active dried yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 F)
1/2 cup dry white wine at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3 large Golden Delicious apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1/2 to 3/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
Coarse white sugar
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and allow it to stand for 5 minutes or until it looks chalky and bubbly. Whisk in the wine, sugar, egg, 2 tablespoons oill and salt. Mix well. Whisk in the flour to make a smooth looking batter. Cover and allow the mixture to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
Dip the apple slices, a few at a time, in the batter making sure they are well coated.
Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a skillet and, when it begins to shimmer, add the apple slices a few at a time. Do not crowd them. Fry them until golden brown on each side.
As they fry, transfer them to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Keep them warm in a low oven until all the slices have been fried. Add more oil to the pan as necessary. When ready to serve, dip the slices in the coarse sugar on both sides. Serve warm.