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A Guide to the Best Baking Apples

It’s that time of year again — apple picking and fall baking! With so many apple varieties to choose from, it can be hard to decide which apple is the best to use when baking. The best baking apples offer a balance of sweet and tart flavors as well as firm flesh that doesn’t break down in the oven while baking.

Sweet juicy baking apples

Here is a list to help when deciding what apples to use in your fall baking.

8 “go-to” apples for the perfect Fall apple dish:

Jonathans

A classic American variety, and widely regarded as one of the best flavored with a good sweet/sharp balance. You’ll recognize Jonathans apples by their deep red-stripe skin and classic apple shape. Grown in many Midwest states, Jonathans are a great apple for pies, juice and cider.

Honeycrisp

The name says it all! Honeycrisp apples are one of the sweetest apples around. They are distinctively crisp and firm, holding their shape while baking. Mix Honeycrisp apples with a tart apple like Granny Smith for a stellar pie packed full of flavor!

Granny Smith

These pretty green apples are tangy and tart with a firm flesh. One of the most popular apples for pie making, pair them with your favorite sweet apple for the perfect flavor combination.

Braeburn

This deep red beauty is spicy and sweet. It’s stores well with it’s firm texture and holds it’s shape well while baking. A great apple to eat raw. It makes the perfect portable snack!

Golden Delicious

This golden beauty is sweet with a thin skin. Golden Delicious apples require less sugar in recipes due to it’s innate sweet nature and breakdown quicker in the baking process. These are the perfect apple if you like your apple pie to have a softer texture. Great sliced in salads and to make apple butter.

Cortland

The cousin to the very popular Macintosh, Cortland’s are sweet with a tart aftertaste for a little kick. This  red, plump apple has a snow white flesh that is slow to brown after slicing.

Gala

This crisp apple has a sweet, mellow flavor. A beautifully marbled apple is ideal for applesauce and is the perfect apple to eat raw.

Macintosh

Sweet and juicy, Macintosh apples have a thick red skin with a soft, meaty flesh. Macintosh apples flesh is softer in consistency and will breakdown quickly while baking. Pair Macintosh apples with a firm, crisp apple like Granny Smith for the ultimate pie combo.

Ok, now that you are educated on all the apple facts, it’s time to make something yummy and I have just the recipe, Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Crumble.
Enjoy ~M

Homemade Apple Crisp

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Refreshing Pineapple Mango Sorbet

Is this Summer flying right by, or is it just me? I’m trying to squeeze every last moment and morsel out of my favorite season and just before I have to utter the words “Kids, it’s time to go back to school”!  One of my favorite new recipes has all the wonderful punchy flavors of Summer, Pineapple Mango Sorbet! The flavors are bright, the color is cheery and texture is simply divine. This sweet treat has become an instant favorite at my house and with only 4 ingredients, super simple to make.

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Unlike most summer treats, sorbet is dairy-free, which makes this lactose intolerant girl grin from ear to ear! This super easy recipe is a great alternative to ice cream and can be simply altered with different fruit to please anyone’s picky palate.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups packed cubed fresh pineapple

2 cups packed cubed mango

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or 4 drops of lime essential oil & 2 tablespoons of water)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add pineapple, mango, sugar, and lime juice to a blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour mixture into a shallow plastic air tight container and chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours, or until firm.
  3. Let the sorbet soften slightly before scooping. Serve and enjoy!

 

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RECIPE TIPS:

  • Use ripe mango and pineapple for the best flavor.
  • Keep sorbet in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
  • Don’t like Mango or Pineapple? This recipe can be easily altered. Try other seasonal fruits like: strawberries, bananas, peaches, and raspberries.
  • Lime or lemon juice adds a little extra punch to sorbet. If you don’t have a fresh lemon or lime on hand, essential oils can work just as well. Add 2-4 drops of your favorite citrus essential oil.
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Double Fudge Brownies

Brownie recipes are much like chocolate chip cookie recipes, everyone seems to have their own favorite recipe and thinks theirs is the best. I get it. There are so many variations and are a standard dessert go-to for many. I personally like my brownies chewy and dense. (Oh, and super chocolaty *duh*) After doing some “brownie research” for this post,  I concocted a Brownie recipe that is chocolaty, chewy and even had a secret ingredient to elevate the chocolate flavor —INSTANT COFFEE! I made a batch of these brownies this weekend. My boys were licking their plates to get every last crumb and morsel. A true sign of a recipe gone right!

P.S. The coffee is totally optional, but must say it does give it a great boost!

Prep time: 15 mins   Cook time: 30-40 mins
Total time: 55 mins  Servings: 16 brownies

Ingredients

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp instant coffee diluted with 1 tsp of hot water (or 1 tsp of coffee extract)

3 eggs

1 yolk

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

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Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 9 x 9 inch square pan. Set aside when done.

  2. Place the butter in a heat-proof bowl and microwave until butter is completely melted.

  3. Add the brown sugar, white sugar and salt while the butter is still warm. Mix to combine the butter and sugars together until you have a smooth consistancy.

  4. Add the vanilla, shot of  instant coffee (or coffee extract) , eggs and egg yolk to the butter and sugar mixture. Whisk in the eggs until they have been incorporated into the butter sugar mix. With a hand mixer, approx.  2 minutes until the mixture is well combined and is light in color.

  5. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder together.

  6. Add the dry mixture of flour and cocoa powder into the wet ingredients and mix it in until just combined. Add about ⅔ of the semi-sweet chocolate chips halfway through the mixing in of the flour. The goal is to make sure the batter is not over-mixed when the flour is being incorporated. Important: Do not over mix!

  7. Spoon the batter into the 9 x 9 pan. Spreading the batter evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the semi-sweet chocolate chips on top.

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  8. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. If you like your brownies fudge-like, stick closer to 30 minutes. If you like you brownies a little more well done, 40 minutes.

  9. Remove from the oven and let it cool down to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. Brownies that are chilled are easier to cut.

  10. Cut the brownies into squares with warm knife and serve.

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Fenway Serving Tip
: Drizzle with chocolate syrup, a dollop of whipped cream and lightly sprinkle with cocoa powered for an impressive presentation.