WhatsFreshApples_11-29.jpgLast week we asked readers to share some of their favorite apple varieties as well as ways to use them. After reviewing the responses, it seems that Macintosh, Pink Lady’s and Fuji apples were your favorites and baked dessert applications were certainly the most popular uses for apples.

Apples go well with a number of foods and flavor profiles. Here are some things we like to do with apples when cooking:

- Put rough chopped up apples under the rack with mirepoix when roasting chicken;
- Add diced apples to roasted root vegetables like parsnip, rutabaga or turnips;
- Incorporate finely chopped apples to pan sauces for any duck dish;
- Stuff them into pork as detailed below;
- Toss in a salad with romaine, walnuts and your favorite blue cheese.

After the jump, some of the recipes (self-created and otherwise) submitted in the comments last week will be repeated and just below is one of Gothamists’ favorite uses of apples.

Roast Pork Chop stuffed with Apples (adapted from Saveur)

Thick slice slab bacon
1 Granny Smith apple
½ teaspoon maple syrup or ¼ teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons butter
2 shallots, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/8 pound white mushrooms, washed and chopped
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced
2 large center-cut pork chops – approximately 1.5 – 2 inches thick
1 tablespoon oil

1) Sauté bacon until crisp - remove from the pan, chop and reserve.
2) Peel, core and cube apples and add to the sauté pan after pouring off all but 1 – 1 ½ tablespoons of the bacon fat. Sprinkle with maple/sugar, lemon juice and salt/pepper. Cook apples for 3 minutes over medium high heat. Remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl with bacon.
3) Return pan to the stove over medium heat and add butter. Once butter foams add in the shallots and onions with a bit of sea salt.
4) Cook 2 minutes, then add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes until very soft but not too browned. Add in the vinegar and sage then cook 2 minutes. Add to the apple/onion mix and cool in fridge while prepping pork chop. Preheat oven to 350.
5) Pull the pork chop from the fridge and get out a sharp paring knife in order to make a pocket in the chop to stuff with apple mixture. With the chop flat on a cutting board insert the knife ½ inch from the top of the “long” side of the chop almost all (within ¼ to ½ inch) the way to the back of the chop without piercing the back. Gently pull down the length of the chop, using shallower strokes if necessary and retracing the cuts to get deep enough.
6) Stuff the apple/onion mixture, making sure to divide evenly among the chops.
7) Salt and pepper the outside of the chops and sauté with oil in an ovenproof pan until browned on both sides.
8) Transfer to the oven and cook until meat and the stuffing reach an internal temperature of 145-155 depending on your comfort level. Allow meat to rest for 10 minutes in order to redistribute juices.

Serve with rice, roasted potatoes or root vegetables - or pick your favorite side dish.

From reader "J":
Normandy Apple Galette

Frangipane (Almond Cream):
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond meal (flour)
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 pound (454 grams) Puff Pastry or 1 frozen pie crust warmed to room temperature, and rolled flat

2 pounds Granny Smith Apples
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whipped cream:
2 tablespoons Confectioners' sugar
1 cup Heavy cream
2 teaspoons of Calvados, or another Apple brandy

Frangipane: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the almond meal and flour and beat until it forms a smooth paste. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Puff Pastry: If you are using store bought puff pastry, thaw (as per manufacturer's instructions) and then, on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll the pastry into a 16 inch (40 cm) oval shape that is about 1/8 inch thick. Prick the pastry all over with the tines of a fork and then transfer the pastry (along with the parchment paper) to a large baking sheet.

Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 15 - 20 minutes. Then, with an offset spatula or large knife, spread a thin layer of frangipane over the chilled crust, leaving about a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) border. Cover and again freeze for about 15 more minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the middle of the oven, then peel and slice the apples into 1/4 inch slices. Place in a large bowl and toss with the sugar and ground cinnamon. Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and lay the sugar coated apple slices on top of the frangipane, overlapping the slices.

Bake for about 15 - 25 minutes or until the apples are slightly browned and tender and the puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Preheat the oven broiler and move the rack to the top shelf of the oven. Lightly dust the tops of the apples with confectioners sugar (powdered or icing) and place under the broiler until the tips of the apples start to caramelize. Watch closely and move the pan as needed. Serve warm or cold with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Makes one - 16 inch Galette

From reader "Patti":

1 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 1/2 pounds Granny Smith or macintosh apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in large bowl. Add apples and toss to coat. Transfer apple mixture to prepared dish.
Combine flour, 1 cup sugar and butter in medium bowl. Using pastry blender or fingertips, blend ingredients until coarse meal forms. Spread flour mixture evenly over apples. Bake crisp 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake crisp until apples are tender and topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 10.
Bon Appétit
March 1993