Apples are a popular and versatile fruit, originating from Central Asia and widely cultivated in different varieties throughout the world. They are typically round, ranging in size from small to large, with a vast array of colors, including red, yellow, and green. Apples are known for their sweet or tart taste, crisp texture, and high nutritional value, including essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
Commonly consumed both fresh and cooked, apples are a central ingredient for many dishes and beverages. The fruit's versatility, taste, and health benefits make it a staple in households worldwide.
While apples are a staple in many households, cooking with them can sometimes be a challenge. Knowing which type of apple to use in each recipe is crucial - for instance, Granny Smith apples are great for baking due to their tart flavour and firm flesh that holds up well in the oven. Sweeter apples like Red Delicious or Fuji are best for eating raw or in salads, not for baking or cooking because they can become mushy.
Peeling is another common area where people can go wrong. While there are occasions where it’s best to peel apples (like making apple pies or tarts), in many cases keeping the peel on not only adds beautiful color but also provides additional dietary fiber.
Maximising as much apple flavour as possible is a tip many people overlook. To do this, try pairing apples with complementary ingredients such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves. Additionally, toss apple slices in a small amount of lemon juice before usage - it adds subtle depth of flavour and prevents apples from browning so quickly.
Finally, coring apples can seem like a tedious task but there are multiple ways to make it easier. Using an apple corer or even a melon baller can make the process quick and simple, and keeps your slices look nice and neat.
Which apple variety is best for baking?
What are the best apples to eat raw?
Is it necessary to peel apples for cooking or baking?
How can I prevent apples from turning brown?
How can I core apples easily?
Are all apple varieties good for making apple cider?
How to make apple crisp?
What spices pair well with apples?
How to properly sauté apples?
Can I use apples in savory dishes?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does apple expire?
Unopened, apples typically last for 2-4 weeks in the pantry, but when stored in a fridge they can easily last for 1-2 months. They can also be frozen for up to a year. Once an apple has been cut open, it should be consumed within a few hours, or up to a day if covered and refrigerated. If the apple has been cooked or baked, then refrigerated, consume within 4-5 days for the best taste and safety.
How do you tell if apple is bad?
Check the apple's appearance, smell, and taste. A spoiled apple may show signs of decay, soft spots, wrinkles, or dark spots. The skin may appear dull and may be broken, with a mushy texture underneath. The apple might have a strong sour smell or an off smell indicating fermentation. The taste of a bad apple could be overly sour, off, or have a fermented flavor which is not pleasant. Besides, if the apple is shrunk and shriveled, it is past its freshest quality and taste.
Tips for storing apple to extend shelf life
• Always handle apples with clean hands to prevent the transfer of bacteria.
• Keep apples in a cool, dark place if not intending to eat them within a few days. A refrigerator works best for this.
• If apples are cut, cover the cut surface with lemon juice or wrap them in cling film to prevent them from turning brown. Store in the fruit compartment of the refrigerator.
• If freezing, wash, peel, core, and slice the apples before storing them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Defrost in the fridge and use as needed. Do not refreeze defrosted apples.
• Do not store apples next to other fruits as the ethylene gas produced by apples can hasten the ripening of other fruits.