Crisp, sweet gala apples have many culinary uses for savoring their taste. These apples have a versatility not shared by some other apple varieties. Stock up on gala apples to explore the many ways you can use these fruits.
Cooking and Baking
Gala apples do not fall apart when baked in pies or used in cooking. Their firm texture makes them ideal for baking in apple pies, cobblers and cooked dishes. Substitute gala apples for a more tart variety, such as Granny Smiths, in a pie to impart added sweetness to the dish.
Slice gala apples for using raw in salads where they will retain their color and texture rather than becoming browned and mushy.
Gala apples should be your first pick for making applesauce. Their natural sweetness can let you reduce or eliminate the sugar you might add to applesauce.
The flavor of a gala apple lends well to out-of-hand snacking. It contains a pale yellow to white flesh with a fine texture and sweet flavor, according to All About Apples. Gala apples also have a slight tartness that does not overpower the sweet flavors of the apple. The thin skin of a gala makes these preferable to apples with thicker skins.
Add 1-1/2 cup of sucralose, 1/4 cup of light corn syrup, 1/2 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of honey to a large pot. Stir the mixture and then bring it to a boil.
Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the mixture. Continue boiling the mixture until it reaches the temperature of 300 degrees.
Stir the mixture one last time and then remove the pot from heat. Don’t stir the mixture again.
Wash six gala apples in cool running water and then dry them off with paper towels. Stick lollipop sticks into the tops of the apples.
Dip the apples into the heated sugar mixture and coat each apple. Place the apples onto wax paper and serve once the candy coating has hardened.
Choose an apple by picking it up and tapping it with the back of your fingernail. Select apples that make a “snap” sound rather than a thud, and leave behind any Honeycrisp apples with wrinkled skin.
Cut the core out of the apple with an apple corer by inserting the corer in the center of the apple near the stem and twisting it.
Trim the peel away from the exterior of the apple with a paring knife.
Slice the apple into rings or wedges.
Combine the water and lemon juice in a small bowl and dip the cut Honeycrisp apples into the lemon water to prevent them from browning.
Use the sliced Honeycrisp apples in any recipe calling for apples: pies, apple crisp, cake, applesauce or whole baked apples.
Run the apple under clean water, turning it as you rubbing it to remove the pesticide residue. Do not use soap on the apple, as it can leave a residue and alter the taste.
Pat the apple dry. Remove the peel with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. Most of the pesticide residue is in the peel, although the flesh still has traces of pesticide.
Bake or steam the apple to further remove the pesticide residue. A baked apple also makes a healthy desert treat when paired with cinnamon and yogurt.
Most apple trees need 16 feet of space between them, but dwarf trees need only six to eight feet of space. They need full sun and well-drained, phosphorous-heavy soil. Fruit-bearing dwarf trees often require permanent staking for support. It is necessary to maintain, prune, and protect your trees from pests. Lastly, many greenhouses and horticulture centers recommend applying mulch.
Early Harvest apples are also known as Yellow Juneating, Yellow Harvest and Yellow June. The skin is yellow, but the flesh is white and tangy, and is good for eating and cooking. In most areas these apples ripen between June and July, while the majority of apples ripen much later in the summer and fall. The USDA created 11 hardiness zones, based on lowest average temperature, that stretch from Fairbanks, Alaska, (zone one) through to Honolulu, Hawaii (zone 11). Early Harvest apple trees grow in zones three to eight, which includes the majority of the continental US.
Early Harvest apples are small, yellow, soft, and slightly tart. When ripe the apples often have an orange blush on one half of the orb. They bruise very easily and do not last long after harvest. Like McIntosh, Horse, and American Summer Pearmain, their primary use is cooking.
The Early Harvest apple tree is a particularly high-yielding varietal. It needs moist, well-drained soil and full sun for six to eight hours every day. This tree grows up to 20 to 25 feet tall with a mature spread of 20 to 25 feet wide. There are, however, dwarf and semidwarf varieties that reach up to 10 or 15 feet, respectively. The dark green leaves are two to four inches wide, coarse-veined and toothed, and alternate on the twig. The tree is a fast grower, averaging 24 inches per year until maturity.
Ripening in June and July makes Early Harvest apples among the earliest apples ready for eating cooked or uncooked. They have a slightly tangy, acidic flavor. Especially when picked early, use these apples for pies, sauces and other baked goods.
The major apple producing areas in China are along the Bohai Sea, the Yellow River lowlands, the Northern foot of the Qing-ling mountains, the Loess plateau in the Northwest and the highlands of the Southwest. The most common types of apples from China are: Red Fuji, Starkrimson, Golden Delicious, Gala and Jonagold.
The United States
Apples are the the second most valuable fruit crop in the U.S. and they are harvested in the fall. Although they are not native to the U.S. they can grow in most of the 50 states, but are mostly found in Washington State, New York and Michigan.
Washington grows nine main varieties of apples including: the Fuji, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Cripps Pink, Cameo, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Gala.
Michigan also has several apple varieties like Honeycrisp, Gala, McIntosh, Empire, Jonagold and Mutsu.
The state of New York is known best for the McIntosh and the Delicious apple varieties as well as the R.I. Greening and the Cortland.
Pour 2 qts. of cold water in a large bowl.
Dissolve 1 tsp. of powered ascorbic acid in the water. Look for ascorbic acid powder in the canning aisle. Although there are several other products available, such as citric acid powder, the Michigan State University Food Preservation Series suggests that powdered ascorbic acid is the most effective in preventing discoloration.
Soak sliced apples in the mixture to keep slices fresh and white while you pare the remainder of the apples. Apple slices or wedges remain crisp and white until serving time. Remove, pat dry and use for cooking or serve as snacks.
Preparing the Apples
Apples for applesauce can be left unpeeled, if desired, but should always be cored. Once cored, apples are sliced into chunks that can easily fit into the food processor.
Pureeing the Apples
Once prepared, the apples are placed into the food processor along with any additional ingredients for the applesauce. A bit of lemon juice is often included, as well as sugar, cinnamon and a dash of vanilla extract. The amounts of each vary according to the type of apple used and the preferences of the person making the applesauce.
Cooking the Apples
Once the apples and the additional ingredients are pureed, the sauce should be poured into a microwave-safe bowl. The applesauce can be heated in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes to slightly cook the apples and heat the sauce before serving.
Serving the Applesauce Raw
Alternately, applesauce prepared in a food processor can be served as is, with no heating or cooking of any kind. Once pureed, all you have to do is pour the applesauce into serving bowls and serve. If not ready to serve immediately, the applesauce should be placed into an airtight container and refrigerated until served.