A few weeks ago, we went to an apple orchard and picked our own apples. We came home with a whole bunch of apples. We’ve snacked on them daily and we’ve experimented with them in a number of different recipes.
So in addition to snacking- here’s what we did with all those apples:
1. Apple Tasting: We had five varieties of apples- Newton Pippin, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Gala, and Red Delicious. I gave each child a plate with an apple slice from each variety on it. We took one bite from each slice and I attempted to get some discussion on it. However, the only observation the kids could make about each slice was, “Yum.” Ah, well, I’m glad they like apples. I thought it was interesting to compare, so here are my observations:
Newton Pippin- very crisp and tart, reminded me of Granny Smith apples
Golden Delicious- pretty crisp with sweet, good flavor
Gala- crisp and sweet, a mild flavor (but that might have been because it directly followed the McIntosh which was a strong burst of flavor)
Red Delicious- slightly crisp (more so than the McIntosh, but less than all the others) and it had a slightly bitter aftertaste
Conclusions- X-man’s favorite was either the Newton Pippin or the Golden Delicious (when I asked, he told me “the last one I ate” which was either of those two flavors, I’m not sure which one). Princess K’s favorite was the McIntosh. I just can’t pick a favorite. I like to cook with a combination of the Newton Pippin, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh. I like to snack on the Gala, the Golden Delicious, and the Newton Pippin (for me, a snacking apple must be crisp). I do know that the Red Delicious is not my favorite.
2. Apple Crisp– this was the first thing we made with McIntosh and Golden Delicious apples. We read How to Make Apple Pie and See the Worldand worked together to create this tasty dish. The kids like the crisp topping, but not so much the cooked apples.
3. Applesauce– this was actually quite a hit with the kids! We made it with McIntosh and Golden Delicious apples and flavored it with cinnamon and pure maple syrup. This is something my mother would make with us when I was a young girl in New England. She would always use McIntosh apples and so the smell of McIntosh apples always reminds me of my childhood autumns and holidays. Z-urchin and Princess K enjoyed helping out with making the applesauce.
4. Apple Dumplings– The previous two recipes are ones I’ve done many times before. This was my first experiment. I used Pillsbury biscuit mix, Golden Delicious apple slices, and a brown sugar, cinnamon and butter syrup. It tasted like apple flavored monkey bread. It was delicious, especially with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
5. Apple Oatmeal– I threw peeled and chopped Golden Delicious apples into my oatmeal one morning with cinnamon, brown sugar, and maple syrup. My husband and I loved it, but the kids vehemently protested. They really wanted their normal cinnamon & sugar oatmeal. Crazy kids.
6. Apple Chips– I tried making apple chips (out of the Golden Delicious variety) by slicing them thin (though probably not thin enough as I don’t have one of those mandoline things I’ve never heard of until I was looking up how to make apple chips), sprinkling them with cinnamon and sugar, and putting them in the oven at 250 degrees for several hours. I made the mistake of placing them on wax paper. They stuck dreadfully to the paper and so I pretty much had to throw them all out. However, the few I was able to salvage were quite tasty. Z liked them, but the other kids were too suspicious to even try one. I think I’ll try this again sometime this fall, but without the wax paper!
7. Apple Turnovers– I used Newton Pippin and my last McIntosh apple for this. I heated the peeled apple slices in the pot with butter and sugar, spooned some of the apple mixture into some pie crust and folded the crust over. I cut some slashes into the crust and popped them into the oven to bake. These were also quite tasty. Apple pie in a convenient little hand-held package. I didn’t even offer this to the kids. I figured it would be wasted on them.
8. Apple Cake- I used Newton Pippin apples and a boxed spice cake mix. K saw me cooking and really wanted to help. I allowed her to assist me with the shredding of the apples and the mixing of the ingredients. The cake turned out absolutely delicious. Even the kids loved this one! We drizzled it with butterscotch topping and served it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. What a treat!
There it is- our adventures in apple tasting and baking! With all the delicious baking apple scents floating around the house this month and my chai tea- it really feels like autumn, my favorite season of the year!