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Seasonal Sensation: Apples


One of fall’s favorites, the apple is adored for its culinary versatility. The fruit’s sweetness complements a savory cut of meat, and is often the star of appetizers, drinks and desserts. When buying apples, make sure to select firm and shiny fruit, and store in a plastic, perforated bag in the refrigerator to preserve freshness. If an apple is sliced, prevent browning by tossing the slices with a little lemon juice. Sweet, crisp or tart, apples can be used in many ways. Here are some suggestions:

As a drink
Apple cider is a traditional drink enjoyed during the fall. Hot apple cider can be infused with other fruit flavors, including cranberry juice and orange zest to make a flavorful beverage. Include warming spices such as allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Or, serve it spiked with a shot of bourbon or rum for a festive seasonal warmup.

As a baked treat
Baked apples are a delicious family favorite. Use a melon baller to carve out the core then cut shallow slits around the sides of each apple to avoid too much splitting. Place apples in a baking dish, and fill them with a mixture of brown sugar, butter, chopped walnuts and cinnamon. Pour apple or orange juice into the baking dish. Then bake at 350°F for about 35 minutes or until the apples are just tender.

As a crispy complement
Apples add a crisp texture and sweet flavor to a variety of sandwiches and salads. Dice into smaller pieces before tossing into a salad. Apples typically complement lighter vinaigrettes and salads with feta or blue cheese. Sliced apples make a great addition to a cheese and nut board, or simply served as a snack with peanut butter for dipping.