Is it weird that I spent the first quarter century of my life not really understanding why there were so many different varieties of apples? I mean, an apple is an apple is an apple. Right? There’s only one option of blueberries and strawberries, etc in the produce aisle… so what’s the deal with all the apples? Turns out there used to be a wider variety of a lot more fruits as well but in the name of efficiency, our choices have been streamlined.
Even still, most grocery stores still carry an average of 10 different varieties of apples. I only remember eating Red Delicious growing up, with an occasional Granny Smith thrown in perhaps. It wasn’t until I married James and he started bringing home Honeycrisp (definitely my favorite) that I realized there was a whole new world of apples out there!
Some apples are better suited for eating raw because of their texture and flavor (Fuji and Honeycrisp), others are better for pies and baking because they hold their shape when cooked (Golden Delicious, Baldwin, Cortland, and Idareds), and others have the texture and flavor for better applesauce (Rome Beauty and Golden Delicious). I used Gala for this Slow Cooked Pecan Spiced Apple recipe because they hold their shape well. Depending on your recipe or needs, especially if juicing, you may even want to mix and match different varieties to bring out different flavors.
Toss this recipe in the slow cooker when you need a yummy Fall dessert to serve after dinner. We ate these with vanilla ice cream and grapefruit spoons- they are soft enough for regular spoons, but the pointy edges were perfect. These would be amazing with a caramel drizzle to top it off!
- 6 Gala apples cored
- 3/4 cup apple juice
- 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 4 tbsp butter softened
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- Pinch of salt
- Trim bottom 1/4 of apples so they sit flat.
- Place cored apples in large slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients (except apple juice).
- Stuff the pecan mixture into each apple.
- Pour apple juice around apples.
- Cover; cook on low for 4 hours or until apples are tender.
- Serve warm with ice cream (optional).