Nina’s Tips & Techniques: Local Harvest featuring Apples

Why do my apples turn brown?

Apples contain enzymes that react with oxygen. The more of these enzymes (called polyphenol oidase) the apples contains the faster they turn brown, that’s why some varieties of apples turn brown faster than others. You can stop the browning of apples by coating them lightly in lemon juice. This is a double win, because adding lemon juice to your apple recipe helps enhance the appliness of your apples.

How do I choose the right apple for my dish?

Not all apples are good for all applications, and I do agree there are sometimes an overwhelming variety to choose from! An eating apple should be firm, crisp and sweet. Tart varieties are good for baking because the tartness will compliment the addition of sugar or brown sugar and create a balanced flavor. Sometimes I pair two or even three varieties of apples together when baking – a tart one for the reason I just explained, a sweeter variety to balance flavor, and an apple that has soft flesh that melts away when it is cooked – this gives you the most well rounded flavor and texture in your finished dish. If you’re sautéing or roasting apples in a savory dish choose an apples with a firm texture that won’t turn to mush when you cook it. 

Featured Recipe: Sheet Pan Chicken with Apples, Onions, and Crunchy Breadcrumbs