A Guide to Choosing the Best Apple for Preserving

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Fall is in the air! Shorter days, cool, crisp mornings, and APPLES. Local orchards are Applesbustling with folks wanting the freshest, sweetest (or tartest) apples to snack on, cook with, and preserve. From homemade applesauce to apple butter to dried apple chips, apples are one of the most versatile fruits for preserving. There are thousands of apple varieties around the world and over 100 varieties grown in the United States. Each apple variety has its own unique flavor, texture, color, and cooking properties. Knowing the best apple to choose is key to preserving a quality product. Here is a guide for choosing the best apple.

Applesauce – Select apples that are sweet, juicy, and crisp such as Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Gala, Honeycrisp, and Ambrosia. For a tart flavor, add 1 to 2 pounds of tart apples, such as Granny Smith, McIntosh, Jonagold, or Winesap to every 3 lbs of sweeter fruit.

Apple Jelly – Choose really sweet varieties such as Fuji, Gala, or Ambrosia.

Apple Jam – The best apples for jam will encompass a variety of flavors. Try mixing sweet and tart varieties such as Pink Lady and Granny Smith.

Apple Butter – Because the cooking process is slow, select apples with a softer flesh such as Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Gala, Braeburn, and McIntosh.

Apples for Freezing – Select sweet varieties that are hardy with a strong texture such as Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Cortland, and Empire.

Apples for Dehydrating – Choose sweet, firm texture such as Gala, Fuji, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp. If you prefer less sweetness, choose Granny Smith, Cameo, or Winesap. Of course, this is only a guide. It is perfectly fine to mix and match apples of different flavors and textures. It’s all about personal choice and what your taste buds prefer! Regardless, there is an abundance of apple varieties grown right here in North Carolina! Visit a local orchard today to pick your favorites.

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Written By

Kim Terrell, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionKim TerrellExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Call Kim Email Kim N.C. Cooperative Extension, Macon County Center
Updated on Sep 9, 2020
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