We’ve got you covered on apple recipes, from apple salads to apple chutney to apple crisp. Now, we’re going to get to the core of apples as ingredients by answering a few simple questions.

1. How do I select apples at the farmers market or grocery store?

Choose firm, shiny and smooth-skinned apples with intact stems and fresh smell, not musty.

2. What are the best snacking apple varieties?

Just about any variety – Braeburn, Cameo, Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Jazz, Jonagold, McIntosh, Cripps Pink and Red Delicious.

3. Which apple varieties work best in salads?

Crisp, sweet apple varieties are your best option for apple salads. Try Jonagold, Jonathon, Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp or Braeburn.

4. What are the best apples for baking?

Red Rome is one of the best apples for baking, but many apples hold up well when baking, with varieties ranging in flavor from sweet to tart. Sweet baking apples: Criterion, Golden Delicious, Jonagold.  Tart baking apples: Cortland, Granny Smith, Newtown Pippin. Sweet-tart baking apples: Braeburn, Empire, Idared, Jonathan, Stayman Winesap. (Red Delicious apples, while great on their own, are not good for baking.)

5. How do I store apples?

Apples absorb refrigerator odors easily, so store them in a plastic bag away from foods with strong odors.

6. How long do apples stay fresh?

Use apples within three weeks from date of purchase – or when they start to go bad.

7. Should I peel off the apple skin before using in recipes?

Leave the skin on – unpeeled apples have 45 percent more fiber and antioxidants. Of course, you can remove it if you don’t like it or for textural reasons in baked goods.
Apples are grown in every state in the U.S. Illinois orchards like Eckert’s and Mercier Orchards in Georgia both provide not only tasty apples and apple products, but guests can come pick their own apples when they’re in season.
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  1. How long can you keep baked apples in the refrigerator? Also, can I partially bake them, then complete baking the next day before serving?