A to Z April Blogging Challenge! Today’s letter is A.
We love apples in our house! As a kid I got the joy of walking through a Washington State Red Delicious grove and buying fresh apples straight from the trees. Food is always best the closer you are to where it grew. Don’t you think? I was a devout Red Delicious fan for many years. One time there were no Red Delicious at the store and I was forced to step outside my apple comfort zone. I discovered I enjoyed several varieties of apples. The apple is on the Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen conventional fruits and vegetables with the highest amount of pesticides found in them. I do believe the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables with or without pesticides is better than not eating any fruits and vegetables, however, I’m working hard on providing the best possible foods I can to my daughter. I have chosen to start by working my way down the Dirty Dozen list and replace my favorites with organic options. This has led me on a quest to decide once and for all which apple is my favorite apple.
Did you know apples are a part of the rose family? So are pears, peaches, plums and cherries!
I went to the local store and bought up one apple of all the kinds they currently have on sale. There were 4 different varieties. Then I got to munching.
From L to R: Organic Red Delicious, Organic Fuji, Organic Granny Smith and Organic Gala.
Red Delicious – I love this simple apple. A soft bite of sweet which melts in your mouth. Great for toddlers since it is a softer bite and for hot summer days when you need a juicy sweet refreshment. Yep. Still love this apple. It was Baby Bug’s favorite for the taste test. My mini me!
Fuji – The one to win the place for my new favorite. It is a hardier bite than the Red Delicious. It is as sweet but brings a little tangy to the party. The second bite provided even more flavor. Overall it simply had more substance per bite and I would feel more fulfilled and entertained gastronomically at the end of a Fuji.
Granny Smith – Tart Tart Baby! A great apple for cooking with since it is usually cooked with sugar which helps tame the tartness.
Gala – This apple fell between the Fuji and Granny Smith in tartness. I think it would be a great cooking apple if you can’t get Granny Smith. It is too tart for more me to enjoy alone but it is a hardier bite than the Red Delicious.
I learned the best way to preserve your apples longer is to pile them in a bowl and cover them with a damp paper towel or regular damp towel in the crisper drawer if possible. Apples stay fresh longer if they are kept cool. I had no idea and have been keeping them on my counter for years. We eat them so fast probably doesn’t even matter for us.
Don’t worry! All those apples didn’t go to waste. I looked around at a few recipes and came up with my own version of a mixed apple crumble. The fun aspect of this recipe is depending on what apples you use it will come out a little different every time. In the past I have only used a hardier apple like the Green Apple for apple pie or apple crisp. I was pleasantly surprised how yummy this crumble turned out. There were some pears winking at me when I bought my apples and I couldn’t resist picking some up to add in the mix. I’m crazy like that.
Junebug’s Mixed Apple and Pear Crumble
4-6 Apples (depending on size) Peeled, cored and cut in chunks.
2 Ripe Pears Peeled, cored and cut in chunks.
3 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons of Sugar
1 teaspoon of Nutmeg
1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of Butter
2 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
2 1/2 Cups of Crushed Graham Crackers
1/2 Cup of Butter
1/2 Cup of Sugar
4 oz. of Pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9 X 13 glass pan.
2. Toss the chunks of apple and pear with the lemon juice, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, butter and cornstarch. Pour mixture into the dish.
3. Combine graham crackers, butter, pecans and sugar and spoon over the apple pear mixture.
4. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly.
5. Can be served warm or cool. Delish with ice cream or whipped cream.
I didn’t get a picture of the finish product because my husband ate it too fast. I’ll have to make another.