Fresh Fall Apples
As the weather gets crisp and the crispness of apples signals the sweet, fleeting passage of fall, it's time to get cooking. You may find eight varieties of apples for sale in a good grocery store these days, and a dozen or more in a big farmers' market. There are more than 2,500 kinds of apples grown in the United States alone, with rare, old heirloom varieties on a welcome rebound. All this means you have a bumper crop of fruit to cook with—and apples are a great cooking fruit. We matched some favorite varieties to recipes designed to unlock the unique charm of each fruit.
Skillet Apple Chicken Thighs
This dish is perfect for easing into fall and comes together in one pan to boot. Vastly underrated thighs are rich and moist, perfect for stewing, grilling, or searing. This dish also works beautifully with pork chops—a twist that's weeknight-fast yet fit for company and makes us simply giddy for fall. Sub 4 (6-ounce) bone-in pork chops for the chicken thighs, searing 5 minutes on each side. Like the thighs, the chops will finish cooking in the apple mixture.
Originally appearing in an issue from 1997, this Cinnamon-Apple Cake is one of our most loved recipes and can be served as dessert or a breakfast coffee cake. The cream cheese in the batter gives the cake lots of moisture. We recommend using mild-tasting Rome apples.
Double-Crust Apple Pie
A double crust seals in the apples' natural juices as the pie bakes for full-on apple flavor. Tossing the apples with apple juice keeps them from browning as you peel and slice them, and it adds a boost of apple flavor.
Kale, Apple, and Almond Chicken Salad
A simple lemon vinaigrette doubles as a marinade. Make sure to pat the chicken dry before searing, or the excess liquid will keep the meat from browning. Crisp, sweet-tart varieties (Fuji, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady) add freshness and crunch—or a juicy, sweet contrast to seared or roasted meats.
Spiced Apple Chips
Sugary-sweet Honeycrisp apples balance the spiced wine in this festive drink. Pink Lady or Ambrosia apples—which are slow to oxidize—would make good substitutes.
Fall Salad with Apples, Walnuts, and Stilton
Spiralized Cinnamon Apples with Greek Yogurt
You already put your family's favorite vegetables into a spiralizer, but the result with apples? A perfectly twirlable treat. Top with Greek yogurt and homemade granola, and you have a sweet little snack for less than 150 calories per serving.
Cinnamon-Apple Stuffed French Toast
Stuffed with our favorite cinnamon-apple filling, these slices of French bread encase an autumn-inspired breakfast that will put your morning bowl of oatmeal to shame. The butter and brown sugar cook with the apples to create a delicious syrup for drizzling over the French toast. Sub French bread for ciabatta, challah, or whatever loaf of bread you have on hand. Get the family together for a lazy weekend brunch, and start the day off sweet and satisfied.
Apple-Sunchoke Salad with Smoked Trout and Cider Vinaigrette
Sunchokes, the knobby, thin-skinned tubers also misleadingly referred to as Jerusalem artichokes (they're not artichokes and have nothing to do with Jerusalem), offer beguilingly nutty, sweet flavor. North Carolina chef Scott Crawford (of Standard Foods in Raleigh, NC) makes these root veggies shine in this elegant salad featuring 2 apple varieties—one sweet and one tart—and salty smoked trout.
Simple and easy to make ahead—this twist on the apple crumble is unbelievably good. With cinnamon-sugar butter between the layers, a crispy streusel sprinkle, and a dollop of ice cream on top, there’s no doubt this will be a hit with your friends and family. For a gluten-free version, omit the flour and substitute with certified gluten-free oats.
Overnight Apple Butter
A mixture of apple varieties, rather than just one type, will produce apple butter with rich, complex flavor in this slow cooker recipe. Good choices include Esopus Spitzenburg, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Northern Spy, Rome, Stayman, Winesap, and York.
Enjoy the apple butter over toast or English muffins, or serve it with pork chops or chicken.
Serrano, Manchego, and Apple Sandwiches
Ashmead's Kernel, a very old English apple, is smallish and lumpy with a russet exterior that blankets the green skin. We like its crisp flavor here, though any apple would work.
Apple, Pear, and Cranberry Crisp
The tart and tangy cranberries complement the sweet apples and pears in this warm, streusel-topped delight. Try serving it à la mode as the grand finale of a holiday dinner.
Apple Upside-Down Cake
Mild Rome apples are great for baking this scrumptious upside-down cake however you can also use Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, or Jonagold apples. Dollop the cake with a bit of whipped cream, if desired.
Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich with Apple and Havarti
The flavors of fall meet in this sandwich. Tangy Havarti cheese provides a pleasing contrast to the sweet Pink Lady apples and spicy arugula. Substitute nutty fontina or mild Muenster for the Havarti, if you prefer.
French Toast with Maple-Apple Compote
Sweet Pink Lady apples hold up well to being sautéed for the compote. Liberty, Fuji, or Jonagold apples would also work. Substitute Hawaiian bread if challah isn't available.
Double-Crusted Apple Pie
With crust above and below, this classic apple pie offers ample flaky crispness as a counterpoint to the soft, moist, tart-sweet filling made of Granny Smith apples.
Kale Salad with Apple and Cheddar
The classic delight of sweet apples and extra-sharp white cheddar cheese meet in this kale salad to give the vitamin-enriched green an extra boost of flavor.
Brie, Apple, and Arugula Quesadillas
Fuji apples offer a crisp counterpoint to the rich, creamy cheese. Substitute Honeycrisp or Ambrosia apples, if you prefer.
Fresh Apple Salsa
This sweet-tart condiment features crisp, slightly acidic Spartan apples, though Fuji, Jonagold, and Liberty apples would also work nicely. Serve with pork or roast chicken.
Cran-Apple Smoked Turkey Sliders
Let's face it: You have to have a killer leftover turkey sandwich the day after the feast. If you start with our robust Applewood-Smoked Turkey, you need only a few embellishments—namely the juicy snap of tart apple and the extra layer of smoke from the cheddar—to reach to-die-for status.
Pink Lady apples are wonderful for applesauce, and so work very well in this pureed appetizer soup. Sweet Fuji or all-purpose Spartan apples would also lend themselves nicely to the dish.
Jonagold apples bring some tartness to the lightly sweet squash-based filling. You can also use other good baking apples like Honeycrisp or Rome. Serve as a side dish or appetizer.
Maple-Walnut Apple Crisp
A crispy crust and gooey, sweet center make this wholesome treat something to write home about.
Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples
Sweet spices coat lean pork tenderloin, while apples get a savory treatment with shallots and thyme. Serve with a spinach salad.
Graham Cracker-Apple Crisp
Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie
Warm, cinnamon apples combine with a creamy custard for a fun twist on apple pie. Tip: The key to both a flaky piecrust and crisp streusel topping is to keep them as cold as possible before putting them into the oven.
French Onion and Apple Soup
Apples are a tasty welcomed addition to this traditional comforting classic of stringy melted Swiss, sweet onions, and sourdough bread.
Amaretto Apple Streusel Cupcakes
Top tender apple cupcakes with a sweet and crunchy topping of brown sugar and almonds, then drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze. The amaretto adds an even more distinct almond flavor to the cupcakes, but if you don't have it, you can use almond extract instead.
Chicken, Apple, and Butternut Stew
Cider, chopped apple, butternut squash, and parsnips lend appealingly forward sweetness to this fall harvest stew. Unfiltered apple cider has pectins that help thicken the stew. If you use filtered, clear cider, add another tablespoon of flour.
Pistachio-Apple Bars with Chia Seeds
This flavorful snack bar is loaded with cashew butter, roasted pistachios, dried apples, and dried cranberries.
Spiced Pork Chops with Apple Chutney
Apple chutney is a heart-warming topping for pork in this family-friendly dinner of spicy, boneless chops.
Chicken Soup with Cabbage and Apple
Chicken Soup with Cabbage and Apple is the definition of hearty in a bowl. Earthy green cabbage mingles with moist shredded chicken, chicken sausage, and broth-soaked potatoes. Tart, crunchy apple slices add a fruity counterpoint to this German-inspired soup.
This coffee cake is best served warm. To prepare ahead, cool completely, wrap (still in the pan) in foil, and leave out at room temperature for up to one day, or freeze for up to three months. To reheat thawed cake, unwrap and bake at 250° for 15 to 20 minutes.
New-Fashioned Apple and Raisin Slaw
"This slaw is a healthier version of an original family recipe. It is creamy and delicious, and takes about five minutes to make." -Kelly McWherter, Houston, TX
This creamy cheesecake combines the pleasant tartness of fall apples with the buttery sweetness of caramel to really showcase fall flavors.
Apple, Goat Cheese, and Pecan Pizza
Pungent goat cheese, peppery arugula, and slightly sweet apples transform this token finger food into a gourmet dinner.
German Apple Pancake
The dramatic presentation of this German pancake—it puffs up gloriously—as well as the recipe's rich, custardlike texture make it a morning delight. Use any type of firm, tart apple such as Granny Smith, pippin, Northern Spy, or Sierra Beauty.
Rhubarb Apple Pie
Spring is the season for fresh rhubarb. So take advantage of this seasonal fresh flavor and dish up homemade Rhubarb-Apple Pie.
Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and Raisins
Enjoy this fruit-studded chicken salad with whole-grain crackers, or spread it on whole wheat bread for a sandwich.
Pork Loin Chops with Cinnamon Apples
Warm flavors like sage and cinnamon play up the contrast between the juicy pork chops and caramelized apples. Tart Granny Smiths and slightly sweeter Braeburn apples both work well for this dish.
Spiralized Apple and Fennel Salad with Wheat Berries
This dinner will be as tasty to the taste buds as it is to the eyes. Wheat berries take a bit of time to cook (about 30 minutes), so make them on the weekend when you have a little more simmer time. Then, use them throughout the week for fast dinner and lunches.
Shrimp Tacos with Green Apple Salsa
Tart Granny Smith slices take the bite out of the sweet heat from the shrimp. This is easy for a weeknight meal but also unique for weekend entertaining.
Simple sometimes means the best and the boldest. This fresh apple and celery salad is certainly the crunchiest.