You are probably wondering how long to cook or bake apples. Look no further. We have researched all about the best cooking methods for apples.
The amount of time it takes to cook or bake apples varies on the apple and the form of cooking that you are choosing to use. To yield fully cooked apples it takes between ten minutes and one hour depending on the cooking method. You do not need to cook Gala and Fuji apples as long as you do Granny Smith apples.
Keep reading to learn more about which apples are best for baking, how to soften apples before baking them, whether or not you can use any apple for cooking, and more.
How to Cook Apples
Apples are a versatile fruit that is rich in fiber. The peel contains insoluble fiber which is great for regularity of the digestive system. Soluble fiber which is in the meat of the fruit can help decrease your cholesterol levels.
You can cook apples for the purpose of pie making as well as for apple butter and applesauce. Some people even like to make cinnamon apple bread. Regardless of the reason you are cooking your apples, the methods tend to stay the same 0r similar.
There are a few methods you can use when cooking apples. Most people cook their favorite apple or apples either on a stove-top or through baking in the oven. You have to use some form of liquid, such as water, when cooking apples, or they will dry out and burn.
If you choose to boil your apples in order to soften them, it will only take about ten minutes. You do not have to peel your apples first; that is up to you. Cut your apples into slices that are no thicker than one inch.
It is okay to put your apple slices into the water before bringing them to a boil. Fill the pot with enough water to cover your apples. Cook on medium heat for ten minutes.
Drain the apples then add them to your filling mixture. You can make the apple filling in a few ways. Some people like to add a little vanilla extract with cinnamon, and/or nutmeg and brown sugar, white sugar, or both.
As for frying or sauteing apples you can do so in butter with whichever spices you choose to add and melt some sugar with it also. A few spices that are good for cooked apples are cloves, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.
Sauteing apple slices does not take as long as boiling them. An important tidbit to remember is that refrigerating apples causes them to stay good longer. The apples being cold will slow down the ripening process.
A spiralizer makes peeling and slicing apples a fun experience.
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Baking apples takes significantly longer. When making apple pie it takes up to an hour. You can soften your apples beforehand to help prevent the crust from burning and that will take less time.
What kind of apples are good for baked apples?
There are many varieties of apples that are delicious when baked. A few favorite apples that are preferred for baking are Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Jonagold, Jonathan, and Granny Smith. The main factors to consider when choosing what kind of apple to bake are crispness and flavor.
As long as the apples you are using to bake with are firm and flavorful they will most likely fair well during the baking process. You may need a little bit of flour or cornstarch to thicken your filling. If you do not cook it from frozen you should not need to add the extra flour or cornstarch.
The apples you want to avoid when baking are McIntosh and Red Delicious. That is because these apples are softer and become mushy when cooked. They also do not have that same iconic flavor for baked goods.
You can even use more than one kind of apple in the same pie. Doing so just makes your pie or baked goods more flavorful. If you would like to use Granny Smith apples for the purpose of tartness you can pair them with Honeycrisp to end up with a perfect balance of tart and sweet.
How do you soften apples for baking?
There are a few different options when it comes to softening apples. You can use the microwave, oven, or stove top. Add cinnamon, and white or brown sugar if you would like to.
Be careful if you choose the microwave because apples can easily burn or dry out. Check your apples in twenty second intervals until they are somewhat soft. Keep in mind they will soften more when baking in the oven.
Saute your apples for six to seven minutes on medium heat to soften them in a more uniform and reliable way. Melt a little butter along with brown sugar and cinnamon for your apples to cook in. This will allow for your apples to soften and pick up those yummy flavors at the same time.
Apples will ripen if you leave them sitting out at room temperature for a few days. If you do not have enough time to wait for your apples to soften naturally or to saute your apples and would rather choose a cooking method that you can walk away from for a few minutes at a time, you can boil them.
Some Fun Facts About Baking Apple Pie
If you do not cook your apples before you bake them, you will end up with a gap in between your filling and the pie crust. This is because some of the liquid from within the apple is released which in turn results in a sturdier pie. Another reason to precook your apples is because doing so allows you to make your pie filling ahead of time.
Pie crust is not difficult to make but it can be time consuming and messy. If you decide to make your own pie crust you can make the filling ahead of time so that you have one step done ahead of time. No matter what the occasion is, cooking what you can ahead of time will make the day less stressful.
Preparing apple pie filling ahead of time is great because it can be refrigerated or frozen depending on when you need to cook your pie. If you decide to freeze apple pie filling you will have to allow for it to thaw for up to twenty-four hours before baking it.
You do not have to thaw apple pie filling before baking a pie but the apples will cook more quickly if you do. It will eliminate the added moisture potentially making your pie soggy if you do allow your apple pie filling to thaw prior to baking. The only problem with thawing it first is that the apples might become mushy.
Everyone is different so if you are someone who prefers for the apples in your apple pie to still be somewhat crisp you can either precook them for less time or cut them into thinner slices and skip the precooking process altogether.
How to bake apple slices
In order to bake apple slices you need to preheat your oven to 350°F. Use a roasting pan to place the apple slices into. Toss the apples in your favorite mixture of sugar and spices and add them to a pan then let them bake for about twenty minutes or until they are tender.
Remember you will not need to add as much sugar when you use sweet apples such as Pink Lady, Fugi, Gala, or Honeycrisp. Granny Smith apples require a little extra sugar due to their tartness.
To save a little time you can use an apple slicer and corer to slice your apples. If you use an apple corer you can even cut each piece in half afterwards. They come in handy to get the apple core out of your way.
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Can I use normal apples instead of cooking apples?
Truthfully, you can use any kind of apple that you like. The main potential issues to consider are the flavor and whether or not the apple you use will stay crisp. If you would rather your apples be on the crispier side you should choose Honeycrisp, McIntosh, or Jonagolds if they are available in your area.
Cooking with any apple is a great way to ensure none are wasted. No matter what kind of apple you bake with the main thing you want to avoid is overcooking the apples. They will fall apart and become more like warm applesauce than pie filling.
If your pie crust is cooking faster than your apples and is getting brown too quickly you can cover the pie in foil to protect the crust from burning. Get a little extra foil so that you can bend the middle of it and allow some extra space to be between the pie and foil for the hot air to circulate.
Fugi and Gala apples can be flavorful but will get soft more easily than Granny Smith apples. This is why you do not need to cook them for as long. Granny Smith apples are tart so they are best paired with sweet or savory spices or a second type of apple slices to balance out the flavors.
The best way to tell if your normal apples will work well for cooking is by tasting a slice or two of the raw apple first. If the apple is somewhat crisp and flavorful, it should work fine even if it is not considered to be a cooking apple.
Cook times vary depending on if you are making a pie from scratch or one that is already frozen. It also varies based on the type of apple or apples you are cooking and what cooking method you use. Boiling apples takes about ten minutes, baking apples takes about twenty minutes, and in order to fry or saute apples it will take you about six to seven minutes.
Before you go check out the following links about apple pie:
Can You Bake Apple Pie In A Cake Pan?
Does Apple Pie Need A Top Crust?