What’s in Season: Apples

  • Pin It
  • print
  • email to a friend

What’s in Season: Apples

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Autumn is the height of Apple season in our Georgia and North Carolina mountains. Dotted along the Blue Ridge Parkway you’ll find roadside stands selling local varieties.  For our Georgia Mountains, it’s the Fuji and Pink Lady that taste the sweetest right now.  PYO (Pick Your Own) farms offer the perfect backpack snack for day hikers on the Appalachian Trail and since 25% of an apples volume is air, they don’t add too much weight to a hikers pack!

There are over 2500 varieties of apples grown in the United States.  Every region of the country has it’s own distinct varieties.  We encourage you to buy local produce.  Supporting local growers helps preserve the family farm.  By purchasing produce locally you are sure to be putting the most nutritious food on your family’s dinner table.  Now…how about them apples.

Select firm and bright colored fruit with smooth and shiny skin. Avoid bruised, soft or shriveled fruit. Apples should have a fresh scent. The color of the apple depends on the variety, from yellow to red. Also, the sweetness or tartness ranges on the variety as well. Try never to buy bagged apples on sale. Did you know that apples arrive at stores preserved with nitrogen?  Once the nitrogen seal is broken, the apples have approximately 23 days before they go bad.  Many grocers bag apples for quick sale after about the 20 day mark. 

Keep at room temperature for a few days. Place unwashed fruit in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a longer period of time. If you prefer crisp apples, then apples will maintain their crispness better in the refrigerator. If refrigerating, store them in a clean plastic bag. Close the bag with a twist-tie and make a dozen holes in the bag. This allows ethylene gas to escape but also helps the apples retain moisture. Store apples in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 months. Check them often and remove any decayed apples. It is true, one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch!

Nutritional Information:
Eating apples can in fact keep the doctor away! Apples are: fat free; saturated fat free; sodium free; cholesterol free; and an excellent source of fiber. Apples also help boost good cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. They work as an appetite suppressant, and contain flavonoids that are cancer-fighting antioxidants.Apples are high in Vitamins A and C, and because of their high fiber content, apples help to relieve constipation.

1 lb. apples = 2 large apples or 3 medium apples
1 lb. apples = 1-1/3 cups applesauce
2.5 lb. fresh apples = filling for one 9-inch pie
1 lb. dried apples = 8 cups cooked apples

Most Common Varieties:

Golden Delicious has a firm white flesh and sweet crisp flavor. It is the preferred “all purpose” cooking apple since it retains its shape and rich flavor when baked or cooked. Golden Delicious are good for fresh salads and their skin is so tender and they don’t require peeling for most recipes.

Fuji’s were bred from a cross between Red Delicious and Ralls Janet varieties in Japan. Spicy, crisp sweetness and firm flesh make it an excellent variety for fresh eating. It’s also good in baking. Fuji flavor improves in storage like fine wine. Fuji skin color varies from yellow-green with red highlights to very red. 

Gala is most peoples favorite fresh eating apples. It’s flavor ranges from sweet to tart. Gala is just the right size apple for snacking.  It is also good for baking.

Granny Smith has crisp mouth-watering tartness. It’s tartness is heightened when baked or sauteed.  It is the preferred apple pie apple.  Can be refrigerated for up to 240 days.

Winesap is the old-fashioned apple flavor. Winesap has a spicy almost wine-like flavor that makes it the cider maker’s first choice. The Winesap is a merlot wine colored apple, almost to a violet color.

Rome is a mild flavored apple whose flavor increases when baked. Rome apples have a bright red skin and sweet flesh. 

McIntosh is a crisp tart and sweet apple. It is a good all purpose cooking apple, but doesn’t hold up well to any long cooking process. 

Red Delicious are the beautiful apples. Large elongated apples with 5 perfect knobs at the base.  A rich red in color and juicy sweet. They are recommended for eating by hand and are not suited well for cooking.

Apples aren’t just for pies!
Grandgirl’s Fresh Apple Cake from Georgia
Moppin Chicken Stuffed with Brie and Apples
Smokey Apple Cinnamon Meatloaf
Apple and Grilled Chicken Pizza
Outrageous Caramel Apples
Donna’s Candied Apples
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Casserole
Apple Dumplings

Read More From What's in Season.

You May Also Like These Articles:

You May Also Like These Recipes:

  • Croque Madame Croque Madame
    View Now
  • Paula’s Fried Green Tomato & Egg Hollandaise Paula’s Fried Green Tomato & Egg Hollandaise
    View Now
  • Cream Cheese Filled Biscuits Cream Cheese Filled Biscuits
    View Now
  • Cranberries ’n’ Cream Shortcakes Cranberries ’n’ Cream Shortcakes
    View Now

Leave a Comment

Reader Comments:


Just wanted to write to say how much I miss seeing Paula on the food network! I love this website and enjoy it every time I receive it. I am hoping to see Paula on TV again in the future. Keep up the good work.

By Barbara Baucum on October 19, 2013

What I like to do with granny smith apples is cut in small bites and pour a little lemon juice on so they want turn and then take a container of Caramel and mix with the apples then you have Caramel apples.

By patricia miller on September 28, 2010

Mamaw’s Apple Chip Cake
6 cups Jonathan apples seeded and cubed…skin still on
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 cup oil
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped peacans or more it you like

in a LARGE bowl put the cut up apples in and pour oil and egg over them..mix dry ingredients add pecans and dump over the apple mixture..best way to mix is with your hands…9x13 pan…dump in pan and pat out even ...bake at 375 for about 45 minutes…the house will smell wonderful…but the best part is when it comes out of the oven and you eat it.

By Phyllis Voumard on September 21, 2010

My husband and I LOVE Paula…I have tried several of her dessert receipes…our favorite is Red Velvet Cake.
We missed stopping by her restauran several years ago…while traveling through GA., on the way home from a nightmare of a vacation. We hope to be down that way again real soon:)

By Jesse on September 21, 2010

hear a good recipe apple salad about 4 or 6 apples you can use red or green apples i box of rason 1 cup of pecans 1 cup of suger 1 cup of mayonnaise cut the apples and you put it all togather it relly good

By charidee sartin on September 21, 2010

Thank you for so many great apple recipes. Apples, my favorite fruit, will always remind me of my maternal grandmother. She lived with us for a while when I was in junior high school. I remember sitting at the kitchen table peeling apples for her “Naked Apple Pie” and reciting the alphabet. The challenge was to make one long peel. But, on whichever letter your peel broke that would be the first initial of the man you would marry.  Next apple, the name(s) of your children. It was always a game to see who could make the longest peel. 

She passed away in the spring of my senior year of high school (1981), but I still recite the alphabet when I peel apples and I always think of my Grandma Sadie. And, Naked Apple Pie is always a hit. I think today we’d call it a cobbler or a crumble, but I love the name Naked Apple Pie much better!

By Barbara Pandolfo on September 21, 2010

Paula, I’m originally from Ohio but due to my husband’s job, we are currently living in Dusseldorf, Germany. I love it here and we had our first Autumn Apples just the other day and the sweetness was intense! They were Galas. Here’s my recipe for Raw Apple Cake. It’s really tasty! I hope you’ll try it!

Raw Apple Cake

¾ cup white sugar

1 tablespoon butter softened

1 egg

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ C chopped walnuts

¾ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

3 apples cored peeled and diced (I like to use Gala but use whatever you prefer)

brown sugar for top of batter

In medium bowl, mix together sugar, butter and egg.

In another bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients - batter will be very stiff.

Add diced apples and blend into batter to moisten.

Pour into greased 8x8 baking dish.

Sprinkle brown sugar generously over top of batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream, if desired. This is good when cooled, but even better when served warm from the oven.

Do not refrigerate.

PS I like to toast my walnuts by mixing them with a bit of canola oil and lightly sprinkled with sea salt. (Not too much oil, just enough to coat)Usually I will throw them in a skillet and toast them over a medium flam until I get that warm nutty smell!

By Shannon Arthur on September 21, 2010

My Recipe Box |

Paula's Upcoming Schedule

  • September 20: Booksigning in Waco, TX

    Join Paula at DuBois Furniture in Waco, TX for a book signing and meet and greet from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.

  • September 24: Paula Deen Live! in Charlotte

    Come see Paula’s live show at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte, NC and get a heaping helping of Paula’s recipes, and some good old-fashioned fun and laughter!
    Tickets available from Blumenthal Performing Arts Center here!

    Starts at 5:30 PM. Light hors d’oeuvres and beer & wine will be served, including a meet and greet with Paula Deen! 

    Sponsored by Springer Mountain Farms.

  • October 24: Deen Family Book Signing

    Join the Deen Family for a Book Signing at The Lady & Sons from 10 am to 12 pm.
    The event is free; 350 wristbands to be distributed starting at 9 am.

  • View Paula's Full Schedule