Sunday, September 23, 2012

Is it an eating apple or a cooking apple?


Fall is in the air. Time to pick the apples. What does one do with all those apples? Apple pie, cobblers, cakes, tarts, applesauce, apple crisp, baked apples, caramel apples. There are alot of posibilities; not to mention eating apples fresh from the tree.

 I have fond memories of Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. The campground there is sourounded by apple orchards. The deer come down into the orchards and graze.There are at least 5 years that I remember going there with my family during a fall break. You could pick all the apples to eat while you were there, and any you wanted to take home were sold at a minimal price. Those memories are very pleasant. 

Some apples are good for cooking and some are better for eating, but how does one tell the difference?

There are some lists and guides out there that are helpful. I have included a link to one below

link to a list of apple varieties and uses

What if you don't know what kind of apple it is? Take Grandma's orchard for instance. We do not know  the names of any of those apples growing there. One of the best tips I have heard. Look at the base of the apple. A dimpled bottom is more suited for eating fresh. A smooth bottom apple is one that is better suited for cooking.
Take the picture above. The red one on the left has a dimpled bottom. It would be better for eating. The one on the right seems to have a smoother bottom. It would be better suited for baking. The taste will also tell you alot about the the fruit. Eating apples will tend to be sweeter and have a light juicy texture. Cooking apples will be more tart with a heavier more dense texture that holds up better in cooking.

There is no real harm in using an eating apple to cook with; just as there is no real harm in eating a cooking apple. So what is the big deal? There can be some texture differences, for example; if an eating apple is used, apple pie may turn into an applesauce pie. (Still very yummy). A baked apple is another example. For a nice presentation you want an apple that will hold its shape,and look like a baked apple and not a baked apple mess.

All this apple talk has made me want to go out and pick a fresh apple from our tree.


  1. I rarely pay attention to which type of apple I'm cooking with - this post is great. I am just starting a new homestead related link up, and would love you to join. If you get a moment, come by and check it out!

  2. Great information. I didn't know about the dimples. I will remember this the next time I look at apples in the grocery store.

  3. Great post! I never knew there was a difference...Thanks for sharing and linking up :)

  4. Great tip! I can never remember ... Thanks for sharing this at Scratch Cookin' Tuesday!

  5. Great tips! My sister just bought a cooking apple when she should have gotten an eating apple and was not amused ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing on Natural Living Monday! I can't wait to see what you have going on this week!

  6. applesauce pie sounds wonderful! haha... it's always the inside of the pie that i love the most. and anything with apple = good to me!

    p.s. thank you for the rule of curvy vs flat bottoms - i had no idea! i wonder if the same can be said for women? women's studies peers are cringing in their seats right now. just kidding, people!

    thanks for sharing with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link-up! I hope to see you again this week with more seasonal & whole/real food posts! xo, kristy.

  7. I have made that mistake. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!