The best kinds of apples are fall apple varieties like the honey crisp apple, Swiss Gourmet, pink lady apples and granny smith, and when stored properly, these will keep all winter long! Fall apple varieties are the Okanagan fruit season finale. They taste better as the weather becomes cooler, are more crisp and juicy than summer apples.
Fall apple like Honey Crisp and Swiss Gourmet apples are delicious in our favorite apple recipes and will keep well into the winter season! Other varieties such as the classic Granny Smith apple, Golden Delicious, Fuji apples, Spartan and Jonagold are favorite varieties and are commonly found in the supermarkets all year long!
Fall apples are simply incomparable to store bought fruit when eaten freshly picked from the tree. If you ever eat an apple straight from the tree, we're sure you'll agree!
Traditionally, fall apple harvest season in the Okanagan Valley begins in early September. In the South Okanagan, apples (as well as other Okanagan fruit may likely be available a week or two earlier than the Central and North Okanagan.
Mixing a variety of different kinds of apples renders delicious applesauce, and often you won't need to add a lot of extra sugar (if any at all) to make it sweet. Here's how to identify Honeycrisp, Empire, Golden Delicious Apples, Ambrosia, Spartan apples, Mitsu, Jonagold, Ida Red apples, Fuji (one of our favorites!) and good old Granny Smith apples!
Honey Crisp Apple (Early Fall)
Honey Crisp apple variety is one of our personal favorites! It's a cross between a Honeygold and a Macaun apple, and has only been around since the early 1990's. Honey Crisp apples are spectacularly sweet and crisp , and have a juicy bite like no other apples around!
Honeycrisp apples are one of our favorite kinds of apples for fresh eating. They are also very nice in salads, sauces, baking, or whatever kind of dish you like to use apples for.
Honey crisp apples are generally harvested in mid September, are usually limited in quantity, and sell out fast. These apples also store well, so when we can get our hands on them, we like to buy a larger quantity.
Swiss Gourmet Apples - Arlet (Early Fall)
Swiss Gourmet apples, also known as the Arlet apple, is a cross between a Golden Delicious and Ida Red. The Arlet is medium-large apple, with a classic shape and is a very good fresh eating apple, and a good choice for pies .
These kinds of apples are also excellent in a homemade apple sauce recipe, adding a flavorful hint of melons, berries, and sugar cane. It is a yellow-green colored apple, with a light red blush and tan spots. Its fine-grained creamy-white flesh is juicy and firm with a nice crispy crunch texture. You'll find Swiss Gourmet apples beginning around early September in the Okanagan Valley.
Ambrosia Apple (Early Fall)
The Ambrosia apple was discovered on a Cawston BC orchard, by chance, in the 1990's, and is one of the most popular kinds of apples in British Columbia. The skin is a smooth, with a bright, almost pearly pink blush on a creamy background. Ambrosia apples have a distinct sweet honeyed flavor and slightly perfumed aroma . The flesh is tender and juicy, with a fine, crisp texture.
When sliced, Ambrosia apples don't turn brown as quickly as other apples, so they are ideal for including in fresh fruit plates, salads, or just eating as they are. Ambrosia's also retain their shape when cooked so are excellent for use in pies and pastry.
Ambrosia require less sugar than most other varieties used for cooking, because of it's high natural sugar content. Apples will maintain their tree fresh quality and last much longer if stored in the refrigerator crisper inperforated plastic bags. Ambrosia apple is generally harvested around mid September, is limited in quantity, and is usually available until November.
Golden Delicious Apples (Early Fall)
Golden Delicious apples were originally discovered in the state of Virginia, in the U.S.A., in 1916. It's a medium firm apple, that is very sweet and juicy, and is a nice apple for enjoying fresh.
Although Golden Delicious apples have a thin skin and bruise easily this variety stores well when handled with care. The apple itself will turn a deep yellow color when fully ripened , and has a medium firm texture. Golden Delicious apples are also very tasty in fresh salads , and home baked goods like apple bread, or an applesauce bread. In the Okanagan Valley, Golden Delicious apples are available from mid September, through to the end of December.
Empire Apples (Early Fall)
Empire apples are an offspring of the McIntosh and the Red Delicious apple varieties, and originated in the United States in the 1960's. Empires are a medium-sized, attractive, dark red color over a light green background, have bright creamy white flesh, and a crunchy crisp texture.
The Empire apple is an excellent fresh eating apple , a popular choice for kids lunch boxes, and we like to use them for things like homemade spiced apple rings!
They are really wonderful multi-purpose kinds of apples, good for baking, cooking, sauces, freezing; a wonderful dessert apple with a nice blend of sweet and tart. These apples are particularly juicy, making them a delicious choice for homemade apple cider! In the Okanagan Valley, you'll find Empire apples beginning around mid September.
Spartan Apples (Early Fall)
Spartan apples are small sweet apple, and a delicious favorite with children , because of it's sweet tangy taste . Spartan apples were developed in Summerland BC, in the 1920's.
Straight from the tree the flesh of spartan apples is very crisp and juicy, but tends to soften a bit within a week or so of picking, although it still stays nice and juicy.
The skin of a spartan apple is a deep red, and the flesh is a crispy snow white. Spartan's are great all purpose kinds of apples , best when eaten fresh, and also make a nice homemade apple juice.
In the South Okanagan, spartan apples are usually ready for picking around mid September, and late September in the North Okanagan.
The later in the season, the better these kinds of apples and all orchard farm fresh fruit tastes!
Red Delicious Apples (Fall)
Red Delicious can be brilliant red, dark red or sometimes light with bold stripes and tinges of yellow. It's the apples with the 'bumps on the bottom'.
The flesh of a Red Delicious is creamy white and fine grained. Red Delicious apples are sweet and juicy apples, are mostly used for eating fresh , in salads, or in your favorite quick easy dessert recipes, such as a simple apple crisp or apple crumble.
Red Delicious apples are not the kinds of apples that are recommended for baking pie, as they are too soft and become mushy.
However, they do add a mild sweetness to homemade applesauce recipes. In the Okanagan Valley, Red Delicious apples are available from late September (South Okanagan) and late October (North Okanagan), to late December.
Jonagold Apples (Fall)
Jonagold apples are a cross between a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious apple. Jonagold is a very large apple, with yellow coloring of the Golden Delicious and large flushes of red.
This is a nice crisp and juicy apple to bite into, with lustrous white flesh. The flavor is honey sweet, with a hint of tart , but with a lot of acidity.
Jonagold apples make excellent baked goodies, like apple coffee cake and apple muffins, and they are excellent in apple desserts, fresh salad recipes. They are the best kinds of apples for making the most delicious fried apples!
Jonagold apples will store very well when kept cold. They are available in the Okanagan Valley beginning around early October.
Ida Red Apples (Late Fall)
Ida Red apples are a cross of Wagner and Jonathon apple, and originated in the State of Idaho. They are best suited for cooking , and as an all purpose baking apple, but can also be eaten fresh.
These kinds of apples have a firm pale yellow-green flesh, sometimes tinted a rosy pink, and are tart and juicy.
The skin of an Idared is a smooth shiny red. Idared apples make a beautiful pink applesauce and you're promised the real old-fashioned goodness of baked apples when you bake them! Our favorite is a cinnamon baked apples recipe that we make with Idared apples every time!
In the Okanagan, Idared apples are harvested around mid October. They are one of the best storing apples, and will keep until at least January when stored properly. The tartness of an Idared apple will mellow with storage.
Fuji Apples (Late Fall)
Fuji apples are by far one of the juiciest, sweetest, crispiest, most delicious apples around!
Fuji apples are a late harvest apple, and actually ripen during cool frosty nights, making them super sweet. The Fuji originated in Japan, and is a cross between a Ralls Janet apple and a Red Delicious. It's skin is a pretty pink speckled flush over a yellow-green background, and it's flesh is a dull white that is crisp and juicy.
Fuji's are excellent kinds of apples for any use , including salads, baking, cooking, sauces, dessert recipes, and delicious pies.
These kinds of apples need very little, if any, sugar added when cooking, especially a homemade applesauce! Fuji apples are definitely delicious as a fresh eaten apple, and the flavor is even more enhanced when it is slightly chilled.
They can be kept all winter in a cool place, because of their excellent storage life. In the Okanagan Valley, Fuji apples are available from mid October.
Cripps Pink - Pink Lady® Apples (Late Fall)
Originating in Australia, Pink Lady® apples are a cross between the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams apple varieties. Pink Lady® is the trademark name of this Cripps Pink apple variety.
Pink Lady® apples have a distinctive tart taste ; the apple color is a beautiful pink blush over a green/yellow background. The fruit is medium in size, with a fine-grained crisp flesh. Harvested in late fall, the cool and crisp autumn nights create the bright pink color of these kinds of apples.
Cripps Pink apple does not brown easily after the fruit has been cut, making it a superb apple for delicious fresh salad dishes like an Apple Walnut Salad.
Pink Lady® apples also withstand cooking very well, making them ideal for baked apple dessert recipes. The first bite tastes pleasantly tart followed by a sweetness champagne-like taste, and is delicious whether eaten fresh, cooked, in starters, salads, baked, or in desserts.
Pink Lady® apples are usually picked near the end of October or early November, in the Okanagan Valley, and are limited in supply.
Granny Smith Apples (Late Fall)
Granny Smith apples, named from their founder, Mrs. Mary Ann (Granny) Smith, are the 'green' apples, the apples used for the classic homemade apple pie! They likely need no introduction, as they are the most well known apple around!
Granny Smith apples are crisp, juicy, and tart which makes them perfect, and one of the most popular apples for either baking in pies, stewed in sauces or eating fresh out of hand. They're also great in salads because once cut, they keep their color longer than other kinds of apples.
Its ability to retain flavor makes it a best choice for cooking. The Granny Smith apple is great to eat fresh if you enjoy tart apples, with pucker power! It also tends to have a harder texture than other green apples.
In the Okanagan Valley, Granny Smith apples are a late harvest apple, and become available around early October (South Okanagan), and late October in the North Okanagan.
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