Apples, of course! Since most of us grew up with mediocre, mealy and mass-produced versions, it’s easy to forget the crisp, tart perfection of a great apple. I take great pride in teaching my children about the real thing.
This time of year we always have bags of apples from apple-picking trips to local orchards or from weekend getaways, so we’re looking for ways to use up our harvest. Some of our favorites: eating out of hand, making stove-top apple sauce, apple pie, apple crisp and, of course, mini-sammies.
For adults, I love making curried apple:
• Sauté half of a small onion, finely chopped, and a minced clove of garlic in a saucepan with a knob of butter.
• When soft, add slices from a cored apple, two teaspoons of curry powder, a splash of water and pinch of salt.
• Stir and cook down.
The sweet, spicy slices take minutes to prepare and go great with pork chops.
The top five apple-producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania and California; with the United States being the second biggest producer in the world and high production in so many regions, there’s simply no reason to buy apples from halfway around the world. Seek out local, or near-local, producers, and get to know your region’s best varieties. In New York, my favorites are honeycrisp and winesap, both of them sweet, crisp and tart.
Happy Apple Days!