Not sure which apples to use for cooking and baking? Try these 5 recipes

American farmers grow about 2,500 types of apples – of these, only about 100 types are grown commercially. We only come across about a dozen in a regular grocery store, though farmers markets and produce stands usually offer a wider range and new options seemingly every year. In shades of red, green, and yellow, apples also vary in crunch, juiciness, sweetness, or tartness. Which to eat right away is a matter of personal preference (Red Delicious and Gala are two of the most popular), but which one to use for cooking and baking involves more thought. For baking, firmer apples such as Granny Smith, Rome, and Jonagold are good choices; juicier, very crunchy and tart apples such as Fuji, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are best for salads and drier apples such as Hokuto and Gravenstein are best for applesauce.

Time25 minutes

YieldsFor 4 to 6 people

Crunchy and tangy, this Salad of Shaved Apples and Peanuts uses sweet varieties such as Melrose, Mutsu (also called Crispin), Pink Lady or Granny Smith.

Time10 minutes

YieldsFor 1 to 2 people

Instead of adding sugar to your oatmeal, try simmering it with fresh Fuji or Gala apples, which will add sweetness and apple flavor throughout cooking. For more texture, top with a few uncooked slices. Spice it up by adding cinnamon near the end of cooking, where the bright flavor will shine through (the heat of cooking will soften its intensity).

Time30 minutes

YieldsFor 4 people

A riff on the French celery remoulade salad, this coleslaw pairs tangy green apples with fresh kohlrabi and dresses them in yogurt accented with Dijon mustard, cumin and red onion. A handful of freshly chopped herbs adds color and dimension to the crunchy mixture, which gets better the longer it sits. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Prepare a large batch that you can serve with multiple meals and enjoy how the flavor develops along the way.

Time20 minutes

YieldsFor 6 to 8 people

Apples and radishes add crunch and an interplay of tangy, peppery flavor to this kale salad. Gently massaging kale breaks down its fibrous texture, making it easier to chew, and also mellows its flavor, which may be too bitter for some. The parmesan adds quite a substantial flavor richness to the salad. It can be a complete meal and will also go wonderfully with grilled meats.


YieldsFor 8 people

Derived from an Old French word meaning hot (hot), the term schalet was used to describe the Sabbat stew called cholent, which is cooked overnight in an oven at a very low temperature. It also refers to what might be called a cross between noodle kugel and bread pudding. In this apple schalet, day-old challah is hydrated with water, tossed with sautéed apples, eggs, vanilla, and sugar, and cooked until golden and puffy. Is it a side dish or a dessert? It’s up to you.