Apple picking is an annual ritual in my family. I take the boys picking every year and thankfully, since apples are a cold storage crop, they keep well in the fridge if I store them properly.
That means you’ve got apples for pie, cake, crisp, sauce, tarts, and so forth. For days and days.
Which Apples Should You Buy for Your Recipe?
Although I think there are some general guidelines that are useful, people often worry a bit more than I think is necessary about which apples are good for which particular dessert. You’ll notice that many of the recipes in this round-up specifically call for using a variety that will provide a more complex flavor. I can get behind that!
Of course, certain apples are harder (such as Granny Smith) or softer than others (McIntosh), and that is worth considering when making an apple dessert. For example, you’d want a more tender apple for something like applesauce, while something firmer and more tart holds up better in apple pie.
But there’s a wide gamut of flavors and textures you can choose from. I like to use my favorites from a local orchard (Honeycrisp, Evercrisp, Pink Lady, and Fuji) all of which are crispy and have a good balance of sweet and tart.
But in general, I like to tell people in recipes or in cooking classes (when I teach them) that whatever apple you like to eat out of hand is worth considering for a baking project.
How to Store Apples
You want to keep apples in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Some people like to keep apples on the countertop—and that’s certainly fine if you want a visual reminder to eat them—but if you’re looking to keep them for anything longer than a few days, refrigeration is your friend.
What are your favorite apple desserts to make this time of year?
Mile High Deep Dish Apple Pie
Everyone should have a recipe like this in their repertoire for the simple presentation factor alone—but the taste, of course, delivers.
Want something with nice puffs of dough but don’t want to make a crust? Cobbler is the answer to your apple dessert prayers.
The sticky-sweet appeal of these treats is eternal. Here’s an easy way to make them with your own caramel, from scratch.
Applesauce Spice Cake
This is one of those simple-looking cakes that may not initially seem all that interesting, but the applesauce and the array of fall spices make it hard to resist once it's out of the oven.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
Crostata is just a fancy word for a rustic tart! Use a simple butter crust or your favorite store-bought crust. A mix of apples makes for a more complex taste.
Caramel Apple Monkey Bread
I suppose this treat gets its name from the fact that you can pull pieces off this bundt-like cake, as though you were a monkey eating with your fingers. Whatever the case, layers of fresh apples are nestled into this bread and drizzled with an apple cider caramel.
Gluten-Free Apple Tart
Never fear. You have the skills to make these apples look like an edible flower. Plus, it’s gluten free, too!
Best Fresh Apple Bundt Cake
Ooh, here’s something interesting. Fresh apples, grated coconut, and walnuts or pecans, all in one cake. Mix up the apple types so you’ve got a more complex taste.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
Core ‘em and fill ‘em with pecans, raisins, and brown sugar. What could be bad about that?
Apple Upside Down Cake
Yes, it’s like an apple version of the beloved upside down pineapple cake, but this one is made with caramel sauce and a cornmeal batter.
Every fall fruit deserves a crisp, and this is so easy that you can make it after work and have it ready for dessert. Just add vanilla ice cream.
Apple Slab Pie
Turn a typical pie into a rectangle, layer the crust on top, and you’ve got a pie that can serve a crowd with a high crust-to-filling ratio. Bonus!