In The Spotlight: Apples

Did you know that there are more than 100 varieties of apples grown commercially in the United States? So many choices; maybe too many choices? You can’t do a taste test on apples like you can with grapes. How do you know which variety to pick? A lot depends on what you want to do with the apples. Some apples are better for cooking because they won’t turn to mush when heated. Others are better for eating fresh and for use in salads.

All varieties of apples are packed with health benefits. Apples are low in sodium, fat and cholesterol. They don’t offer protein, but they are a good source of vitamin C and fiber. Although apples have carbs that affect your blood sugar, these carbs are different from other sugars that strip away fiber that is good for you. The old adage of an apple a day keeps the doctor away has some truth to it, especially if you leave the skin on your apple!

When you are shopping for apples, pick the ones that feel firm, smooth, heavy for their size and are free of bruises. It’s also good to know that as apples ripen, they give off ethylene gas which can shorten the storage-life of some other vegetables, so be sure to keep your apples in a bag when you store them in your crisper.

Apples are very versatile because they can be used in everything from salads to soups to main dishes to beverages. And of course, apples are a sweet, crunchy and HEALTHY snack!

One of my favorite ways to fix apples is called Pie in an Apple. It has all the components of a regular apple pie, but on a smaller scale. Here is the recipe.

Pie in an Apple

  • ½ of a 14 oz. pkg. rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crust (1 crust)
  • 4 medium baking apples
  • ½ cup apple cider or juice
  • 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. apple pie spice
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • Coarse sugar
  1. Let pie crust stand at room temperature according to package directions. Meanwhile, cut off top third of apples. Using a melon baller or small spoon, scoop out the flesh of each apple, leaving a ¼-inch-thick shell. Discard tops, cores and seeds. Chop remaining apple flesh into small pieces.
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the chopped apple and the next four ingredients (through apple pie spice.) Cook and stir over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, or until apples soften and liquid is thick and bubbly. Divide filling among the four apple shells.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 15×10 inch pan with foil, coat with nonstick cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, unroll pie crust. Roll to a 10-inch circle. Using a 3 1/2 -inch cookie cutter, cut four circles from pie crust. Place pastry circles over top of filled apples. Cut slits in pastry to allow steam to escape. Whisk together the egg and the water. Brush egg mixture over pastry. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place apples in prepared oven.
  1. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until apple is soft, filling is bubbly and crust is light golden brown. Cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar right before serving.

– Becky Lynn is a writer for She and her husband Bob enjoy spending time with their 8 grandchildren and traveling. Becky loves cranking up the music and heading to the kitchen to try out new recipes or cook for an upcoming party. She is passionate about continuing to be a life-long learner!


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