Using & Storing Apples

This information has been reviewed and adapted for use in South Carolina by J. G. Hunter, HGIC Nutrition Specialist, and K. L. Cason, Professor, State EFNEP Coordinator, Clemson University.(New 09/05.)

HGIC 4247

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South Carolina-grown apples are available from late August to November.

Apples are Good for You

Apples are:

  • a good source of fiber.
  • a source of potassium and vitamin C.
  • low calorie—81 calories per 2½" apple.

How to Buy Apples

Apples should feel firm. If you can dent one with your finger, it is too soft. Large apples are more likely to be over ripe. Select fresh smelling, well-colored, smooth skinned fruit with the stem intact. Do not buy apples with bruises, rotten spots, or a brown core.

Plan on 6 to 8 medium-sized apples for a 9-inch pie. One pound of apples equals:

  • 3 medium-sized apples.
  • 4 cups peeled, cored slices.

How to Store Apples

Handle them gently. Bumps and bruises can cause dark spots.

Store apples in a cool, dry place or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper away from foods with strong odors. Make several holes in the bag for ventilation. Keep them separate from strong flavored foods, as they will pick up those flavors.

Properly stored, most apple varieties will keep up to a month. Check them often, and remove any apples that are beginning to rot.

How to Use Apples

These South Carolina apple varieties can be used in the following ways:

Arkansas Black: fresh eating, baking, sauce (long storage)

Cameo/Carousel: fresh eating, salads, applesauce, baking, pies, freezing

Fuji: fresh eating, salads, baking, applesauce, pies, freezing

Gala: fresh eating, salads, applesauce, baking, pies

Ginger Gold: fresh eating, salads, applesauce, pies

Golden Delicious: fresh eating, salads, applesauce, baking, pies, desserts, freezing

Granny Smith: fresh eating, sautéing, applesauce, baking, pies, juice, freezing (long storage life)

Honeycrisp: fresh eating, salads, cooking, baking, pies

Mutsu: fresh eating, applesauce, pies, desserts, juice

Ozark Gold: fresh eating, applesauce, cooking, baking and pies

Red Delicious: fresh eating, salads, applesauce

Rome Beauty: fresh eating, applesauce, pies, primarily baking and cooking (long storage life)

Stayman: fresh eating, cooking, baking, freezing (long storage life)

Wash apples before using them, even if you plan to peel them. To prevent cut apples from browning, dip them in a mixture of lemon juice and water (1 Tbsp. per cup) or put peeled apples in a bowl of cold water as you work.

Raw apples can be added to many foods to give a delightful new taste and texture.

Serve apples slices:
  •  as a dessert, with a sprinkling of cinnamon or chopped nuts.
  •  with cheddar cheese slices.
  •  spread with peanut butter.
  •  with a dip, such as vanilla yogurt, cheese sauce or ranch-style dressing.

Chopped apples can be added to:

  •  tuna or chicken salad.
  •  a carrot-raisin or green salad.
  •  oatmeal or cold cereal.
  •  pancake or quick bread batters

Try grated apples:

  •  in meatloaf or meatballs.*
  •  in peanut butter as a sandwich spread.

Apples bake well with sweet potatoes and winter squash. Sautéed apple slices are delicious with pork. Try one of these baked apple recipes.

Golden Brown Apple Rings

2 cups biscuit-type mix
2 eggs
1 cup skim milk
4 medium apples, cored and peeled
Vegetable spray or oil

Directions:
Beat together biscuit mix, eggs and milk until smooth. Oil a griddle or frying pan and place on medium-high burner. Slice apples and dip in batter. Place on griddle, pouring a little batter in center of each apple ring. Cook until golden brown, turning once with a pancake turner. Serve warm with syrup, yogurt or sprinkle of cinnamon.
Serves 8.

Calories: 186 per serving without toppings
Fat: 6 grams per serving without toppings

Baked Apples

Preheat oven to 375 °F. Choose a tart apple well suited for baking. Wash and core the apples. If you do not have an apple corer, a small paring knife will work. To keep the peel from splitting during baking, either peel the top ⅓ of apple or peel off a thin strip around the middle of the apple. Place apples in a baking pan.

Fill apples with one of the following fillings. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes, basting twice with the pan juices toward the end of baking. Serves 4.

Raisin Cinnamon Filling:

4 cooking apples
2 Tbsps. brown sugar
2 Tbsps. orange juice concentrate
¼ cup apple juice
½ to 1 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsps. raisins

Directions: Blend brown sugar, orange juice concentrate, apple juice, raisins and cinnamon. Fill the cored apples, drizzling any extra on top.

Calories: 151 per serving
Fat: 0 grams per serving

Sausage Filling:

4 cooking apples
4 tsps. brown sugar
¾ cup well-seasoned, precooked sausage meat (or 4 small precooked sausage links)

Directions:
Sprinkle the cored apples with brown sugar, and fill with sausage.

Calories: 344 per serving
Fat: 19 grams per serving

Ala Mode:
4 cooking apples
¼ cup sugar or brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
4 tsps. margarine

Directions: Mix sugar and cinnamon and fill cored apples. Dot with margarine.

After baking, cool 10 minutes. Serve with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt or ice milk on top.

Calories: 260 per serving
Fat: 6 grams per serving

Primary Source:
University of Illinois Extension fact sheet, Using and Storing Apples. Originally prepared by Michigan State University Extension.
http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/edwardsvillecenter/FactSheets/FS%20Apples.pdf

Supplementary Information From:

  1. Clemson University Extension Service. SC Master Gardener Training Manual, EC678.
  2. USDA Home & Garden Bulletin Number 260, How To Buy Fresh Fruits. January 1994.
  3. University of Illinois Extension. Apples & More.  www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/apples/varieties.html
  4. Washington Apple Commission http://www.bestapples.com/varieties/usagechart.html


Special thanks to: Howard Hiller, Oconee County Extension Agent; Oconee County SC apple growers; and Dick Perdue, Greenville County SC apple grower.

Page maintained by: Home & Garden Information Center


This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement of brand names or registered trademarks by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied, nor is any discrimination intended by the exclusion of products or manufacturers not named. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.