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Sep 3, 2010 09:47 AM

Mealy ginger gold apples--don't want applesauce

I am so bummed. Ginger golds are among my favorite apples, but only if they're very recently picked, and the bag I got at Trader Joe's apparently was not. I made half the bag into a decent cake, but want ideas for the rest. They turn to mush when cooked, so a recipe that uses that property to advantage would be great. I'd also prefer not to peel.

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  1. Slice as thinly as possible and dry them at your oven's lowest temperature.

    Apple butter.

    Peel, core, dice and include in bread pudding.

    Dutch baby (a.k.a. German apple) pancake.

    1 Reply
    1. re: greygarious

      Do you think mealy apples would dry out okay? Do I do this with fan on or off?

    2. Return it. Trader's Joes, if nothing else, is very good about their return policy.

      If you keep it, why not make an apple compote for things like pancakes or even pork chops.

      Or follow the KISS rule and make, what else, baked apples?

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Apple compote sounds great. Haven't had that in years. I'd feel bad about returning my half-full bag to TJ's and I kind of like the challenge of turning something moderately gross into something decent.

      2. In the UK, one of our most popular apples is the Bramley, which also cooks down to a puree. Loads of recipe ideas here:

        Be aware the Bramley is a very sharp tasting apple. It's always cooked - never eaten raw. If you apple isnt going to bne sweeter, you may have to adjust some ingredient quantities.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Harters

          Thank you so much for the link. I decided to make the baked ginger Bramleys (or in my case, baked ginger Ginger Golds). I did reduce the sugar, but also used crystallised ginger instead of the stem ginger called for in the recipe. They're baking no verdict yet.

          I have never eaten a Bramley in anything, but after reading that site, I want to!

          1. re: Isolda

            In the UK, we divide apples into "cookers" and "eaters". I think we are the only nation that does that. "Eaters" are generally sweeter and hold their shape (and, unsurprisingly, are the ones eaten raw). "Cookers" are always sharper and cook to a puree.

            Bramley Seedling is, by far, the most readily available - although you do come across others. It's what I'd generally use for apple sauce and the like. They also make a classic autumn dessert of baked apple, where I'd hollow out the core, stuff that with sultanas and bake it whole (you have to put a score line right round the apple so it doesnt burst).

            1. re: Harters

              The term "sharp" is not one that Americans use in regard to apples. I guess the equivalent here would be "tart", as in mouth-puckering. Does that sound right? There's no firm line between eating and cooking apples in America. The Macintosh, a favorite eating apple in America, and in the pedigree of other popular eating/baking/cooking varieties like Empire, is crisp only when very fresh. It has a soft flesh that hardly needs any cooking to turn into applesauce. Golden Delicious is a popular eating apple that holds its shape in cooking. The Honeycrisp, which has been gaining in popularity but is not yet as widely available (and costs more) is sweet with an edge of tartness, both extremely crisp and extremely juicy. It is in demand as an eating apple, but also keeps its qualities for months in storage and home fridges, AND holds all of its shape in cooking/baking, while becoming tender. It really seems like magic. Just wish my favorite, the crunchy tart Macoun, would take some lessons from Honeycrisp. Being a Macintosh relative, the crispness is short-lived.

              1. re: greygarious

                Macouns are my favorite too, but we're not quite there yet. Just bought a bag of Honeycrisps at the orchard. The orchard we go to has a brochure describing all of the apple varieties and classifying them wrt to cooking and eating, e.g. "good eating, excellent cooking". It's very helpful for determining which variety to buy.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Yes, "tart" will do nicely.

                  I'm familiar with Empire and Golden Delicious. We occasionally see the former as an import from America. The latter is commonly available but is not well thought of for flavour - I would never consider buying it.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    The Honeycrisp showed up last spring in the grocery stores I frequent in the Phoenix area but then mysteriously disappeared. I thought they were well worth the extra expense so I was somewhat perplexed that they didn't become a grocery store staple. I wondered if, unlike most of the popular apple varieties, they were somehow seasonal.

                    1. re: mandycat

                      Speculation on my part, but I think there is not enough supply yet for Honeycrisp to be in steady supply. In my experience, they keep in the refrigerator longer than other supermarket varieties so my prediction is that in years to come they will be available year-round. If you search for their history online, it's an interesting story. The experimental agriculture station had scrapped the original tree without ever tasting the fruit. But some second generation trees were left standing. Some time later somebody picked an apple but didn't sample it. It was left out for a prolonged timespan, in a warm location, and eventually re-discovered and tasted. Last year when I bought some from a local orchard, the grower said something about Honeycrisps needing to age for a time (a couple of weeks in a dry location, I think he said) before they are sold, or they don't develop optimum flavor.

            2. I just made maybe the best apple butter ever using 1/2 Ginger Golds, the other half Macs & Cortlands. I think it is the unique spiciness of the Ginger Golds that made the difference. It was that amazing fragrance that drew my attention to them out of the zillion varieties of apples on display. I'd never heard of them before. They are the first of the fall apples and not good keepers, I read; so you have to buy them early and use them promptly. But even mealy they should make fine apple butter.