The best apples for baking add complex flavors to the dish without breaking down entirely during the cooking process. Empire apples are all-purpose juicy, red apples that do well in sauces, juices, and various recipes. But are Empire apples good for baking?
Yes, Empire apples are good for baking. They’re juicy, crunchy, and full of flavor. They have a firm texture and don’t bruise easily. They also have a highly appealing strong apple aroma and complex flavor profile. You can use these apples in pies, crisps, crumbles, and various other baked treats.
Let’s delve deeper into this now.
Interesting Facts About Empire Apples
Empire apples are a hybrid variety derived from Red Delicious and Mcintosh apples.
They bring out the best characteristics of both parent varieties.
Red delicious apples are sweet but with a mild flavor. They have tough skin.
Meanwhile, the Macintosh apples are medium or small with thick flesh and tender red or green skin.
They’re sweet, tart, and juicy, with punchy flavors.
Their hybrid, Empire apples, combine the best features of both varieties.
So the Empire apples have red skin and bright white and sweet flesh. They’re crunchy and moist.
They’ve firm flesh, but they cook well without releasing much liquid.
Empire apples are generally considered all-purpose apples. They don’t bruise easily. Hence, they store well.
Coming to the flavor part, Empire apples have the right balance of sweetness and tartness.
They’re the right size for school lunches and a delicious snack for picnics.
The flavor profile of empire apples makes them a versatile cooking ingredient.
Not only do they taste good when eaten raw, but they also do well in various recipes.
You can use them in sauces, pies, and juices. They’re also good for baking.
These apples work well in crumbles, strudels, and other baked goods.
They’re also a good choice for salads because of their unique crunch and delicious flavor.
These apples will also hold up well in the freezer.
Why Are Empire Apples Good For Baking?
Not all fruits are good for baking, apples included.
We can classify apples as eating apples and cooking apples based on factors like size, sweetness, and texture.
Eating apples are larger than cooking apples. They’re generally sweet.
A few varieties will have some tartness, but their dominant flavor will still be sweet.
Meanwhile, the best apples for cooking have a mix of tart and sweet flavors.
These apples usually keep for longer because their tartness increases their shelf-life.
Now, not all cooking apples do well when baked.
The best apples for baking have firm flesh.
They should be able to hold their structure when exposed to heat since baking happens at a high temperature.
They must be moist and crispy to add delicious flavors to the baked items.
Hence, soft apple varieties that bruise easily are not good for baking.
Now, some apples are better suited than others for different recipes.
Although you can replace apples in recipes with other varieties, the outcome of the dish may vary accordingly.
Using different apples in the same dish can also increase the complexity of flavors in a dish.
Empire apples are good for baking for various reasons.
Firstly, they are firm and hold their shape during the baking process.
So they do well in pies and crumbles without forming a mushy mess.
Meanwhile, they also break down just enough to integrate into the dish. So you can use them in sauces and fillings.
Another factor that adds to their appeal is that Empire apples have a rich depth of flavor when fresh and ripe.
Their distinct and strong apple aroma adds wonderful flavors to any dish.
They also store well, and you can keep them in the refrigerator till you are ready to bake.
How To Prepare Empire Apples For Baking?
Fresh and ripe apples are the ideal choice for any recipe.
When they’re in season and ripe, they will add more flavor to a dish.
The texture of such apples will also enhance the taste of the dish.
Although Empire apples are available in supermarkets for several months, they taste best between September and November.
You can either use Empire apples that are fresh or refrigerated for baking.
To prepare the apples for baking, you should wash and peel them.
We recommend peeling the skin off using a peeler instead of a knife for better results.
Remove the core and the seeds before chopping or grating the apple for different recipes.
The apples will quickly discolor after cutting.
One way to help them retain their color for longer is by tossing the cut pieces with lemon juice to slow down oxidization.
What Are Empire Apples Good For?
Empire apples are all-purpose apples and suitable for cooking as well as eating.
They’re some of the best apples for salads because of their delicious crunch.
Biting into an Empire apple is very satisfying because of how crisp it is.
It’s also good for cooking and baking.
You can use it in apple sauce, apple pie, strudel, crumble, and various other recipes.
Empire apples also work in cakes. This fruit has a complex balance of sweetness and tartness.
Not only does it taste great when eaten raw but also in baked goods.
Are Empire Apples Good For Making Apple Sauce?
To make applesauce, apples have to be cooked.
Hence, you should choose apples that break down when cooked.
Apples with tender flesh are usually the best choice for applesauce.
Although Empire apples are firm, you can use them for apple sauce.
These apples have a high sugar content and are sweeter than tart.
Hence, they’re good for making high-quality, smooth, and glossy apple sauce.
The blend of sweet and tart flavors also imparts a complex flavor profile to the applesauce.
The usual practice is to peel Empire apples before using them for apple sauce.
Some recipes include peels as well.
The bright red color of the peel will create beautiful pink color for apple sauce made with peels.
Are Empire Apples Good In Apple Pies?
The best apples for pies are not too soft. They hold their structure and have a little crunch.
Additionally, they should have sweet and tart notes to make a delicious pie.
Empire apples are good for apple pies because they don’t disintegrate when cooked.
They soften just enough to create the perfect texture for apple pie.
Since Empire apples aren’t too moist, they don’t make the pie crust soggy.
For all these reasons, they’re a good choice for apple pie.
Are Empire Apples Good For Making Cakes?
The best way to make a delicious apple cake is by using a variety of apples.
This will create a complex blend of flavors and textures.
So you should be using sweet, tart, crisp, and soft apples in the same recipe for the best outcome.
Empire apples taste good in cakes. They can withstand the high temperature of an oven.
Their juicy flesh makes cakes moist. However, they aren’t too moist to make the batter too soggy.
Flavorwise, Empire apples aren’t too tart. They have just the right sweetness to make a cake taste delicious.