Ready For Winter: 7 Apples & 9 Desserts

Posted by Jeff Pauls on 14th Dec 2018

Ready For Winter: 7 Apples & 9 Desserts

Cold weather is a hallmark of the fourth and final season of the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice begins at 5:23 PM, 21 December.

And what a better winter pick-me-up than a nice, warm dessert, fresh from the oven, featuring...what? You may be surprised to hear, apples! Yes, it’s true, apples are available throughout the winter. There are 7 different varieties from which to choose. The chart below, lists them, along with how long they’re available, and the particular uses for which they’re best suited.

At the end of the post are links to 9 different recipes that feature one of the varieties in the chart. Three of the recipes are written out in this post, while the other six can be seen by clicking the links. Winter lasts just a smidge over 13 weeks. Try one recipe a week for 9 weeks and then repeat your 5 favorites to round out the winter! Use the chart and the recipes to plan your shopping and when you’ll make each recipe. And just to make your winter even more interesting, use the first recipe to compare apples to oranges! Enjoy!


1. Jonathan This variety is especially valuable as a source of "stay firm when baked" flesh for pies and dumplings.

Best Alternate: Jonagold or Idared

Earliest: Mid Summer

Latest: Late December

2. Idared Not a well-known apple, perhaps, but Idared will be well-regarded after you try it! This cultivar was developed at the University of Idaho's Agricultural Experiment Station (now you'll understand that the word is pronounced “Ida-red” and not “I-dared”!) and is especially well-suited for baking (it holds its shape very well), cooking, and drying uses.

Best Alternate: Jonathan or Rome

Earliest: Late September

Latest: Mid December

3. Rome Beauty One of the better keeping varieties, Rome is a firm, attractively colored apple with a mild flavor and is especially good for all baking and cooking purposes. Bakeries and restaurants really like using peeled and cored Rome apples. You won’t want to wait too long to sample Arianna’s Apple Dumplings, which we try to keep on our market shelves.

Best Alternate: Stayman or Idared

Earliest: Early October

Latest: Spring

4. Cameo has a pleasingly sweet flavor, big crunch, and good keeping qualities. The thin skin evident in Cameo, in addition to these other great attributes, only enhances its fresh-eating pleasure. Believed to be related to both Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, Cameo was discovered in Washington State in 1987. Orchard manager Clair's mom Ellen Kauffman touts this variety for baking purposes also.

Best Alternate: Fuji or Braeburn

Earliest: Early October

Latest: Most of Winter

5. Granny Smith Here's the famous green baking apple that was discovered by Margaret Smith in Australia sometime before 1900. The finished product of this variety is always hard, juicy, and tart - it's perhaps the world's most widely-known cooking apple! Clair Kauffman, our orchard manager, thinks that Granny Smith are great for out-of-hand crunching, too!

Best Alternate: Stayman or Pink Lady

Earliest: Late October

Latest: January

6. Goldrush Another new variety, and one we have high hopes for. You’ll enjoy experiencing this apple both as a fresh-eating winner (long-time market staffer Calvin Fisher and orchard manager Clair Kauffman both recommend it) and in your baked apple dishes. Being a disease-resistant apple (developed through the combined efforts of Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Illinois), Goldrush needs fewer spray applications during the growing season. With its firm texture and spicy taste, you’ll want to rush to Kauffman’s for some Goldrush apples. ;)

Best Alternate: Granny Smith or Pink Lady

Earliest: Thanksgiving

Latest: Spring

7. Pink Lady, which was developed in Australia and includes Golden Delicious in its “pedigree,” is very crisp in texture and is a sweet-tart with an outstanding flavor. The pretty pink skin and very white flesh only add to the attractiveness of this new variety, which has become a favorite of a three-generation line of Kauffman staff – Grandpa Dave, son Tony, and grandson Ryan. We suspect that Pink Lady has fine cooking and baking properties, too; how about letting us know how they perform!

Best Alternate: Braeburn or Goldrush

Earliest: Early November

Latest: Spring

Warm Winter Citrus Dessert
35 m 4 servings 279 cals


2 red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned

2 large oranges, peeled and sectioned

1 cup fresh pineapple chunks

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened


Prep: 20 m Cook: 5 m Ready In: 35 m

  1. Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
  2. Place the grapefruit sections, orange sections, and pineapple chunks into an 8x8-inch baking dish. Stir the brown sugar and butter together in a small bowl, and scatter the butter mixture evenly across the fruit.
  3. Broil the fruit until the sugar is bubbly, 5 to 6 minutes. Allow to cool for several minutes before serving warm.

Nutrition Facts:

Per Serving: 279 calories; 5.9 g fat; 58.2 g carbohydrates; 2.2 g protein; 15 mg cholesterol; 49 mg sodium.