Seasoned Shopper – November 2023



    Apples vary in flavor, from sweet to spicy to tart, and all should be crisp, crunchy and juicy. Left on trees to fully mature, or are subjected to less-than-ideal storage conditions, apples can become mealy and dry.
    Of the 2500 apple varieties grown in the United States, only 15 or 20 are commercially significant. Harvest generally begins in August and by November we find some of the best eating and cooking apples of the season.
    Fuji apples are bursting with sweet, juicy flavor. Generally large to extra-large, they are a fall favorite. They store and travel well due to their dense crisp interior.
    Braeburns are moderately tart and identified by some large patches of red-pink blush and striping over a yellow-green base. The bold flavors are reminiscent of older classic apple varieties. Originating from New Zealand in the 1950s as a chance seedling, Braeburns were one of the first bi-colored varieties.
    Cripps Pink, more commonly known as Pink Lady apples, can’t be missed with their beautiful coloring and almost perfectly round shape. The white flesh is slow to brown when cut, making it “the” apple to use in salads or on a charcuterie board.
    Granny Smith is my choice for pie making. Medium to large in size makes for less peeling. The other green-skinned apple to look for is Pippin, which is also excellent for baking.
    Apples are the quintessential fruit of fall. Pick your favorites to use in this delicious recipe for apple crisp.

Apple Crisp
    ½ cup each of old-fashioned rolled oats, flour and brown sugar
    ½ teaspoon each of cinnamon and baking powder
    ½ cup butter, cut into small pieces
    4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
    3 tablespoons butter, melted
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    3 tablespoons milk
    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    ¼ cup brown sugar
    ½ teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg

    Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking powder in a medium size bowl. Add butter and cut in with a pastry blender. In a small bowl stir together melted butter, flour, juice, milk, vanilla, brown sugar and spices. Pour butter mixture over apples in a bowl. Pour and spread all into an 8×8 inch baking dish. Sprinkle crumble mixture over the apples. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
    The Orinda Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Orinda Way in Orinda Village. Visit, and Instagram at OrindaFarmersMarket or call the market hotline at 925.322.6228.

(Barbara Kobsar, Photographer)
Visit the J&J Ramos stand at the Orinda Farmers’ Market on Orinda Way, where Paclina Leal and Yair Mendoza can help you pick out the best apples for eating out of hand or baking. 

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