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Test Kitchen tips: What makes a 'cooking' apple?

October 21, 2011 |  8:00 am

Applesstephenosman

So.... which apples are best for eating, and which ones are best for cooking and baking?  Food editor Russ Parsons explored this often perplexing question in a column he did on heirloom apples  just a few autumns ago:

The world of apples is supposedly divided cleanly in two: cookers and eaters. But does that mean you can't eat a cooker? Or cook an eater? And what makes a "cooking" apple anyway?

Generally, the apples that cook or bake best are those that are notably tart (because you're going to add sugar anyway) and that hold together through cooking.

In my experience, the best apples for cooking are Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Jonathan. But I've also had good luck with Gala, Braeburn, Pink Lady and Fuji. As for the older varieties, there are so many, you're best off asking the farmer.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like us to explore, leave a comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

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-- Noelle Carter
Twitter/noellecarter

Photo credit: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times

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