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Forbidden Fruit — Crisp Sweetness Unleashed

Biting into a juicy Northwest apple, the autumn sun streaming down on your face, a fragrant, harvest-season breeze tousling your hair — that’s pure Fall in Central Oregon. Every year, this seemingly simplest of fruit surprises with its delights. Provided, of course, that you’ve chosen wisely. But if you’ve ever gotten ho-hum about apples — or weren’t sure which one was best for making a scrumptious pie, or complementing the flavor profiles on a cheese board, or accompanying a pork roast, or if you’ve ever found that one bad apple can indeed spoil the whole bunch — we’re here to help.

Sure, apples are aplenty in Fall, but in-store, bona-fide apple experts are not, and that’s what sets Newport Avenue Market apart. Our fruit-ologists can guide you exactly to which apple variety is best suited for every recipe, and which are the freshest. This is why Newport Avenue Market is the best place in Central Oregon for Fall apples (and really just about everything, in our humble opinion.)

Our expertise goes beyond the food and right into your kitchen. Want to know which is the best, most efficient, and economic apple corer and peeler? Best kinds of rolling pins? Cool new gadgets for making great pie crust? Baking dishes? A samurai-worthy paring knife? A beautifully photographed and finely written apple-focused cookbook? Our kitchen essentials team has curated the best new tools that are sure to become the — ahem — apple of your eye.

Ready to indulge in one of the ultimate taste experiences of Fall? Here’s our handy guide, complete with tips on the best way to store apples, our favorite apple variety, and recipes, too. We’re betting that if Eve had our guide back in the Garden of Eden, she would have reconsidered and kept that whole piece of forbidden fruit to herself.

It’s like comparing apples to … well, apples

Which variety of apple is best for just grabbing and eating? Which is best for baking in a pie? Which apple makes the best apple sauce? The best juice? Is best in a salad? Which ones freeze well? Which ones are organic? We have the answers. These are some of the things people frequently ask our produce experts, so we created a chart that lays it all out for you.

Here, you’ll learn:

Which is the new, non-GMO apple that’s outrageously juicy and refreshing to grab and eat (the bright red Rave — a cross between Honeycrisp and MonArk apples), which type has a deep, juicy, sweet flavor with hints of citrus and is great for applesauce (the Cameo), and which makes a show-stopping pie, offering a lively touch of citrus, honey, and spice (the Sweet Tango). Plus, just about everything you need to know about our region’s top apples.

Here it is! (You’ll find the chart in our produce department, for reference, too, but of course, you can always ask one of our resident produce pros.)

Apple Tips: Our fave, cheese boards + storage

Now that you’ve perused how and when to best use the 11 top apple varieties grown in the Northwest, we’ll reveal our fave: the Opal. A cross between Golden Delicious and Topaz apples, it has a distinctively crunchy texture, floral aroma, sweet, tangy flavor, and is grown in Washington. One thing we like about Opal apples is that they don’t turn brown when you cut them, which makes them great for cheese trays for parties and during the holidays.

Keep your cheese board looking beautiful with this tip: when using other apple varieties, you can keep them from turning brown by dipping or brushing the slices with lemon juice.

Until it’s party time or baking time, it’s important to keep apples fresh after you’ve brought them home. Our produce expert Brian recommends refrigerating all apples so they won’t become soft. It’s true, one bad apple spoils the bunch. If you store them in the fridge, keep them away from lettuce and other delicate produce — the ethylene gas naturally produced by apples causes fruits and vegetables to ripen and spoil faster.

Let’s get pie-eyed

Could anything in the world be more comforting than the aroma of a homemade apple pie baking in your oven? Here in Bend, we believe that if every world leader sniffed a freshly baked pie today, global harmony would reign — deliciously so.

Whether you’ve been baking pies since you were a child or it’s a pleasure that you’d bypassed while leading an overly busy life, we’ve got expert tips.

Think smart, think tart — even though apple pies are deliciously sweet, tart apples are the secret weapon for desserts, because you have control over how much sugar to add. The tartness also works in conjunction with the added sugar, yielding a more complex flavor for desserts. Granny Smith apples are a great example of this.

Now, here are some dessert recipes that we think are great ways to celebrate our Northwest bounty of apples:

Perfect Pie Crust

Prep: 45 minutes
Makes: 4 crusts

Ingredients
1-3/4 cup Vegetable shortening (such as Crisco)
4 cups All-purpose flour
1 tbsp. Sugar
2 tsp. Salt
1 Egg
½ cup Ice water
1 tbsp. White vinegar

Preparation
1) In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, gradually work the vegetable shortening into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal.

2) In a small bowl, beat an egg well, add ice water and vinegar, then pour it into the flour-and-shortening mixture. Stir together gently until all the ingredients are incorporated.

3) Knead a few times to form a smooth ball.

4) Divide into 4 portions, roll into balls, and wrap each in plastic wrap.

5) Place in a large Ziploc bag and chill for 20 to 30 minutes in the refrigerator or freezer to use later.

6) When you are ready to make a crust, remove dough from the refrigerator. Roll out on a well-floured board. Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough to keep it from sticking.

7) Carefully lift the rolled dough, place into pie pan, and gentle press the dough into the pan.

8) Repeat if you want a top crust for the pie.

Join the Upper Crust: Creative Crust

Get creative with the top crust by making overlapping leaves, circles, braided lattices — the possibilities are endless. Here are some photos and a fun video to get inspired.

Tip: be sure to leave some vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape and prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

Apple Recipes Galore!

Below are some of our favorite apple recipes. From our kitchen to yours. Enjoy!

Good Ol’ Apple Pie

There’s nothing like a good old fashioned (and scrumptious) apple pie.

2 Pie crusts (recipe below)
9 Baking apples
¾ cup Sugar
¼ cup Brown Sugar
3 tbsp. Flour
¼ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Allspice
¼ tsp Nutmeg
3 tbsp. Butter

Cinnamon and Sugar Mixture:
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) Peel, core and slice apples into a large mixing bowl. Lightly toss with lemon juice while slicing the apples.

3) Combine ½ cup sugar, either brown or white, with 2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

4) Pour the sugar mixture over the apples. Toss lightly until apples are well coated with sugar mixture.

5)In a separate medium sized bowl, mix together the remaining sugar with the flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Mix until well blended.

6) Roll out the bottom crust on a floured board.

7) Line a 9” pie pan with bottom crust; trim even with the pie plate edge.

8) Fill with apple mixture, dot with butter.

9) Roll out the remaining crust and place over the apple filling.

10) Trim, seal, crimp edges and cut several slits (steam vents) in the pastry top.

11) Brush the pie with a well beaten egg and sprinkle with little cinnamon and little sugar, combining before sprinkling.

12) Bake until crust is nicely browned and juices are bubbling, about 45-55 minutes.

13) Let cool on wire rack and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Apple Cake

Yep, you really can have your apple cake and eat it too!

½ cup Sugar
1 ½ cup Brown sugar
1 ½ cup Vegetable oil
3 Eggs
3 cups Flour
2 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Nutmeg
1 ½ tsp. Baking soda
¾ tsp. Salt
3 ½ cup Chopped apples
1 cup Chopped walnuts
2 tsp. Vanilla

Using an electric mixer, combine vegetable oil and sugar. Beat eggs into the batter, adding one at a time.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Add to batter. Fold in apples, walnuts and vanilla.

Pour into greased, 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan.

Bake for 90 minutes at 325°F.

Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.

Icing
½ cup Brown sugar
1/3 cup Whipping cream
¼ cup Butter

In double boiler over simmering water, combine ingredients and heat until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over top of cake.

Gram’s Applesauce

We won’t lie. We had to coax this one out of Gram, big time. It took a while, but we got the goods. Here is how Gram makes the most perfect applesauce this side of the Mississippi.

A variety of apples can be used… yes, even those weird onesie, twosies that are hanging out on your counter or in the fridge.

Peel, core, and roughly chop the apples (nothing fancy here). Place the chopped apples into a large pot that fits all the apple pieces plus apple juice (we like Opal apple juice). Simmer until cooked down by half of the quantity you started with. This could take an hour or two until the apples are soft and mashable.

Mash or blend the cooked apples to your desired consistency, very smooth to a bit chunkier.

Add only a bit of salt to enhance the flavor and NO cinnamon. Gram repeats, NO cinnamon. Give it a taste, it’s ready to roll. If you have more than you can use with your pork roast, porchetta, or sausage no prob… freeze it. No canning required. Transfer to whatever containers work for you and toss it in the freezer. Mason jars full of homemade applesauce makes a great gift (and great neighbors), too!

Apple Strawberry Salad

Strawberries and apples, they’re a dynamic duo—like a perfect summer romance. Try this one during strawberry season!

Makes 4-6 Servings

2 Granny Smith Apples
1 pt. Ripe Strawberries
½ cup Walnuts
¼ cup Shredded Coconut

Dressing
¼ cup Mayonnaise
¼ cup Sour Cream
1 T Strawberry, Pomegranate or Raspberry Vinegar
1-2 T Sugar – depending on how sweet you like your dressing

1) Wash apples and strawberries.

2) Core and Dice the unpeeled apples into small pieces.

3) Remove stems and slice strawberries.

4) Place apples and strawberries in a medium bowl.

5) Add coconut.

6) Coarsely chop walnuts and add to the fruit.

7) Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl, until well blended.

8) Add dressing to the salad and toss to coat all the fruit.

9) Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

A Curated Crust

Here is our selection of apple pie essentials that will help make your pie fabulous:

Mrs. Anderson’s Easy Pie Crust Maker

Insert dough into this clear, pie-shaped bag and roll out perfectly round pie crusts with consistent thickness so that they bake evenly, and you can avoid a floury, sticky mess. Made from BPA-free plastic, the bag is strong, durable, and reusable.

Norpro Pie Crust Shield

Made of aluminum, this reusable shield protects your pie crust from burning.

Microplane 2-in-1 Apple Tool

Whether you’re prepping apples to bake a pie or just want a healthy snack, this gadget makes it easy. Made with stainless steel and a soft-touch handle, it has a serrated coring blade on one end and a straight-edge peeler on the other. It comes in a reusable protective cover, too.

Anchor Hocking Oneida Baking Dish

Its simple, slightly tapered design is perfect for baking apple, strawberry, blueberry, or peach pies. This glass dish is oven, microwave, and freezer safe.

Kai 4-Inch Paring Knife

This Japanese paring knife gives you the expert edge when paring and coring fruit. Made with high-carbon, stainless steel it has superior sharpness. Embellished with the Japanese character for “wasabi,” the blades are bead-blasted to an gleaming finish and the sturdy handle won’t let you lose your grip if you start daydreaming of the apple blossoms of Kyoto.

Wooden Rolling Pins (and How to Care for Them)

Our wooden rolling pins can be handed down over generations if you care for them properly. After use, wipe with a damp cloth. Do not use soap, which will dry out the wood. If dough sticks to the wood, gently dislodge it using a pastry scraper at an angle to avoid damaging the wood. Apply a food-safe oil to prevent it from drying out in our arid climate.

Classic Kitchen Basics’ White Marble Rolling Pin

The smooth, cool marble surface keeps the dough cool, a key to successful rolling. The heavyweight marble rolls evenly and efficiently. The hardwood handles are comfortable to use, and a hardwood stand lets you show off the attractive veining of the marble.

An Apple Harvest: Recipes and Orchard Lore

This book celebrates the world’s most storied fruit, among the most amazingly versatile ingredients. Writers Frank Browning and Sharon Silva created this compendium of more than 60 apple-centric recipes originating from Alsace and Applachia, Scandinavia and Sicily, and beyond Dishes range from Duck Breast and Fuji Apples on Watercress, velvety Roasted Winter Squash Soup with Cider, and Salmon Fillets in Cider-Mustard Sauce to a down-home Saturday Night Supper of Fried Apples, Sausage, and Biscuits. Plus, Bourbon Apple Pie, Apple and Currant Galettes, and Apple Sorbet with Ginger.

Newport’s Apple-ology

Since opening in 1991, Newport Avenue Market has been offering the freshest produce along with independent, local flair and expertise from our employee-owners.

There you have it. Our good word on everything apples. We’ll leave you with this: Life is short. Eat Good Food.

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