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I'm a Honey Crisp gal but I've got a friend looking for Grafenstein. Anyone heard of them?   What do you think makes the best apple sauce? Apple pie? Apple crisp?

Had my first honeycrisp this weekend. Very good.

Grafenstein, differentiated from Gravenstein?


Apples are on my mind, too, Liza, on account of a little crop from my single tree, Anna variety. Made a little apple-tomato chutney, not in canning proportions, more of a recipe-test flight, excellent with roast chicken earlier in the week.


Tonight it will be apples & onions to accompany a nice pork roast, roast pork, in the old clay pot, the roast pork, pork roast, not the apples & onions, which will be sauteed stovetop.


And then it's on to Mapie the Countess de Toulouse-Lautrec's incredible apple tart, which has got smallily diced apples suspended in custard, and then another nice apple tart with VERY thinly sliced aforementioned arrayed atop pastry cream sprinkled with sugar (I use large-grain raw sugar for this) and broiled until the slices are tender and (hopefully) appetizingly browned. I also was inspired by CLB's caramel-topped plum cake, and plan to try it with you-know-whats.


And then applesauce with what's not beautiful enough for showcasing, meaning no disrespect to the apples OR the applesauce.


When I am buying apples I like Pink Lady, if they're in season. Our CA Fujis can be very very very good, too, esp. if they're grown by the nice Ha Family Farm folks.

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I'm a Honey Crisp gal but I've got a friend looking for Grafenstein. Anyone heard of them?


What do you think makes the best apple sauce? Apple pie? Apple crisp?

Honey Crisp are my new favorite apple too.


One would think in Washington State, Apple country, great tasting apples would be easy to be had and inexpensively, but they are not. The honey crisps are quite expensive (but worth it).

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D. reminds me that in Michael Pollan's book .... ohwhat's the name... the one about growing, he has a chapter on apples. They're really difficult to grow for consistency in flavor, apparently. The chapter is also quite revealing about the real Johnny Appleseed.


Priscilla, please to explain more about the daintily chopped apples suspended in custard. And yes, Gravenstein must be right - my inquiry is a relay quest from a friend of Northern European origins.

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Not that I KNOW anything about Gravensteins, of course. Seems to me one used to see 'em around.


As for Mapie's, the Countess de Toulouse-Lautrec's, apple tart -- in her book La Cuisine de France (an asset to any cookbook library, and cheap I think among the online booksellers) she bestows on a few preparations her own name, and this is one: Apple Tart Mapie. It's very very very good, a fave of the Consort's, and he is the house authority on tarts, really really really likes tarts, esp. fruit tarts, esp. with apples.


1/4 lb. butter

1 1/4 c. sugar (I use half vanilla sugar)

4 eggs

3 T. flour

2 apples


Tart tin lined with pastry waiting quietly in the fridge or freezer. Oven 400 degrees F.


Heat butter until it turns light brown. Put the sugar in a mixer bowl and pour the brown butter over and mix well. Add the eggs one by one, beating after each. Add the flour and mix well. (Per Mapie, "This is part of the filling.")


Peel the apples, dice them smally, and put them in the pastry-lined tin. Pour over egg mixture. Bake 30 min. (Mine usually needs to go a bit longer; anyways, bake until custard is barely set, because, as you know, it continues to & etc. Haven't made it as yet in the new oven so all bets are off, time-wise.)


Mapie says serve warm or cold, sprinkled with confectioner's sugar. I skip the confectioner's ... it develops a very nice looking browny-brown top all on its own.

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I learned from a local apple grower, Bill Denevan, that the apples you get in the supermarket are not to be trusted. Growers up in Washington and Oregon figured out that their season was later than ours here in California, and started holding their crops back. Ten months later, a month ahead of our season, they'd release them for sale. You're getting old apples with about one-tenth the flavor components of a fresh apple.


Also, the red and golden so-called "Delicious" apples are just the mealiest, grossest things on earth, and the one and only reason they sell is because they look like a textbook example of an apple.


I like an apple that "bites back," so to speak. I love Pippins, Granny Smith, Mutsu, Fuji, and Pink Ladies. I'm in apple heaven here in Santa Cruz.


The Pollan book is The Botany of Desire.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Made an apple crisp last night with Braeburns. The chunks of apple held together rather than exploding into applesauce and creating Apple Mush.


Just discovered Honey Crisp this year. New fave for eating. Can't believe I'd missed out on these. Duh.


Made about a gallon of apple butter last week....used Macouns for tartness and Mutzu for sweetness and pure apple flavor. Poifect.

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I adore Greenings, especially those from NYS. Granny Smiths are but a poor imitation though I eat them if thats all I can put my hands on.


Macouns are right up there with Greenings and since their season is so short, they have an air of limited availability that enhances the experience of eating them. Macouns are very special and taste like the best part of a Macintosh but oh so much fresher tasting.


This year I've come to appreciate Mutsus even though they are yellow-fleshed and kind of sweet...their crispness is very seductive.


This weekend I had Melrose apples for the first time and found them to be juicy and balanced with both a subtle tartness and a slight sweetness that hits your palate when you least expect it.


Oh, and I also had for the first time a tiny apple called a Jonathan that was lovely, not tart enough really but very flavorful.


If I never ever eat a "Delicious" apple again it won't be too soon for me.

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I'm no mod but no link (except perhaps religious and political ones) is considered any kind of violation even if it is blatant self-promotion . :D

i didn't think it would be, but this is (nominally) a food site, and the link was to a food forum on another subcontinent--it just seemed easier to post it to the thread than pm it to everyone in the thread. it was not meant as self-promotion, though i suppose it works that way.

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Macouns are very special and taste like the best part of a Macintosh but oh so much fresher tasting.

My typical breakfast these days are Macouns with cheese.

Crab apples, actually gone already :D

Lady apples - this year i really plan to try a lamb stew with them from Wolfert's book;

Stayman Winesap, very nice apple especially for baking - i pan roast them per Tom Colicchio, and think this should be an ideal apple for Balsano cake as well.

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