Apple Basics and Recipes

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By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Autumn’s crisp air, bright leaves, and cozy sweaters mean it’s time to indulge in some of our favorite apple recipes. Whether you’re picking your own or just picking them up at the store, use these great apple tips to make your next bite your best. So go ahead, celebrate the fall harvest and bake yourself a pie!

Apple season begins in late August and lasts through mid November, with its peak hitting in October. Apples are always taste best and are also cheaper in the fall months.

Store your apples in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Apples will quickly lose their crisp texture if stored out at room temperature in a fruit bowl. They keep very well in cold storage, which is why they’re available year round. 

You know what they say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are not only delicious but chock full of nutrients. They’re a great source of soluble fiber, potassium, and low in calories, making them the perfect after school snack.

Pick apples that feel heavy for their size, are firm to the touch, and have some shine to them. Avoid apples with soft spots and bruises.

The most commonly available types of apples sold in America are the McIntosh, Golden and Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Gala. However, there are hundreds of varieties of apples grown in orchards all over the states, available for picking, or at your local Farmer’s market.

Some apples, or combinations of, work better than others for certain recipes.

For instance, in Paula’s Apple Pie recipe, she uses a mixture of McIntosh and Granny Smith apples. This combination of a tart flavor and firm texture of the Granny Smith apples are a nice contrast to the softer but sweeter McIntosh apples. 

The combination of the two results in a sweet well textured pie. Follow this classic combination of tart and sweet apples for baking your pies and crisps.

SWEET: Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Jonagold, McIntosh.
TART: Granny Smith (excellent and always easy to find), Empire, Cortland. 

The best apples for eating out of hand are sweet juicy apples with a soft skin. These apples are not meant for baking on their own, as they are too soft and will cook down to mush, unless they are baked in combination with a firmer apple. Red Delicious and Macintosh are examples of good apples to eat out of hand.

Some apples work well for baking, eating out of hand, and for applesauce.

Gala apples, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Cortland, and Granny Smith are great all purpose apples that can be eaten out of hand, baked in a pie, or used to make apple sauce.

Our Best Apple Recipes
Red Cinnamon Apples
Crunch Top Apple Pie
Apple Tart
Apple Strudel
Apple Sauce Bread
Mom’s Apple Pie
Cousin Johnnie’s Caramel Apple Cheesecake

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Reader Comments:


Your Oct 10th newsletter talks about a new apple pie recipe; however, when the link is clicked on, only pumpkin info comes up. Would really be interested in a new apple pie recipe. Thanks, Avid Paula fan, Lnda

By Linda on October 18, 2013


Hi Cheryl, Here is the recipe you're looking for:

By Jonathan Able on October 20, 2011


where can i get bubbles recsepie for childrens or girls those cream cheese and orelo cookies couldm u send it to me love to have it

By cheryl wulliman on October 11, 2011


Thanks so much for the apple info !!!

By Judi Burke on October 11, 2011


I love you'r show and you'r Husband is not a bad look are lucky.

By yvonne on October 10, 2011


Dear Paula: I must say I absolutely LOVE your cooking show. You and your sons and other guests make everyone watching feel right at home. I always enjoy Paula joking with the folks and appreciate how much work goes into her tv show. I'm not a chef and not even a cook per se, but i DO enjoy collecting recipes for the ONE time I might decide to make one of them!! The recipes you make look sooooooo scrumptious and I look forward to trying several of them with my daughters very soon. I'm looking for a good "apple crisp" recipe. I've seen several and I know they're extremely easy to create however, I am not quite sure of all of the ingredients especially the apples. Please help Paula, I'll be ever so grateful smile Sincerely, Margaret B.

By margaret b. on October 08, 2011


I just love Me some Paula deen. I am a good cool cause of her and all my friends buy me gifts of Paula cause I can cook now. Thank you Paula deen

By Anonymous on October 07, 2011


I just love Me some Paula deen. I am a good cool cause of her and all my friends buy me gifts of Paula cause I can cook now. Thank you Paula deen

By Anonymous on October 07, 2011


Love Southern cookin' and don't get any better than with Paula,,,

By Carol Tilley on October 07, 2011


By Jessica Scholle on October 06, 2011

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm