Each week new apples are being picked in Oregon and these are the three best apples for baking with this week. That list changes as we move through the season with varieties getting too ripe for good baking and new ones being picked.
Honeycrisp – It is a medium to large apple with a white flesh that is crisp and juicy with a good balance of sweet and tart flavors. The University of Minnesota developed this apple from a cross between Macoun and Honeygold apples. This is a modern apple developed in the 1960’s and introduced to the market in the 1990’s. The Honeycrisp is a great keeper you can store at 32-38 degrees for 4 months. This is an all-purpose apple for me, I use it in cakes, pies and it makes the best dried apples.
Ginger Gold – This is the best of the early golden apples. Its firm, crisp, juicy flesh is dripping with sweetness. The Ginger Gold was discovered as a chance seedling growing near a Golden Delicious orchard in Viginia in the 1960’s. The color and shape looks like a Golden Delicious but it has a much earlier season ripening 6-8 weeks earlier. This apple is a short season apple only keeping 2 months at 32-38 degrees. This apple is great for eating, baking, pies and applesauce.
Tsugaru – Yellow with red blush, the Tsugaru (SOO-GA-ROO) resembles Golden Delicious, but is much more firmer. It is a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Jonathan apple. It is a medium size apple with a creamy white flesh, very juicy, lightly flavored, and moderately sweet with low acidity and very little browning. This apple is great for eating, baking, salads and pies.
Best Ever Apple Cake
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
3 cups Bob’s Red Mill white flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch removable-bottom tube pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle pecans evenly on bottom of pan. In a large bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and cinnamon. Add apples and toss to combine. In another large bowl, mix remaining flour, remaining sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, oil, butter, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Beat until batter is smooth. Pour half of the batter (about 2 cups) into prepared pan. Top with half of apple mixture. Spoon remaining batter over apples and top with remaining apples, placing them 1/4 inch in from the tube and the border of the cake. Bake 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Run a paring knife around the sides and center of cake and turn cake out onto wire rack. Invert cake onto another rack to cool, pecan side up.