Rosh Hashanah has several names, but perhaps it should be called the Feast of Apples. We celebrate the Jewish New Year with apples in all forms: dipped into honey, baked into cakes, stuffed into challah or roasted up alongside a juicy brisket.
As many delicious ways there are to enjoy apples, there are even more varieties available to use! A stroll through the farmers market or even the grocery store will leave you with arms full of many types of apples, some perfect for pies and others ready to be dipped into honey. Choosing the best apples for baking and cooking can seem daunting, but with a little reading, you can be ready for Rosh Hashanah and a sweet new year.
When it comes to baking, you want an apple that will keep its shape and not turn into applesauce. From pies to cookies, you want your baked good to have bits of apple in the end product. Good baking apples are firm, have an intense flavor and may not taste great raw, but turn sweet and delicious once given some heat. A pro tip for adding complexity to your baked good is to use a blend of sweet and tart apples. This will add both varying flavor and texture. Some great baking apples from sweet to tart include: Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Braeburn, Jonathan, Honeycrisp and Granny Smith.
Baking with apples is delicious, but apples are also just as enjoyable in a smooth applesauce or turned into a savory soup. You want an apple that will break down and turn into a smooth mush, unlike the shape you want to retain in a baked good. Pro tip: you can use bruised apples in many of these types of recipes. Here are some of the best apples to turn into butters and sauces: McIntosh, Gala, Winesap, Mutsu, Cameo and Empire.
Apples and honey make for a sweet new year, so you want to make sure you serve the sweetest, most flavorful apple you can find to deliver smiles instead of puckered mouths! The flavor of good snacking apples depends on the eater, with some people preferring more tart apples and others wanting something to curb their sweet tooth. We’ve all had that unfortunate experience of biting into an apple expecting a crisp bite and instead getting a mouthful of mealy, dry apple. To avoid that this year, try some of these varieties: Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady, Ambrosia, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Cortland and Jonagold.
Now that you are fully prepared to find the right apple for your recipe, go forth and have a great “Feast of Apples” and a sweet new year!