Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cortlands - A Great Baking Apple

By Cherie Carb

I always wondered how to choose a great baking apple. I mean, what really should I look for? Well a great baking apple has two important characteristics: a tough outer skin and a mixed taste. What is a mixed taste? It is sweet and tart.

An example is the Cortland Apple. Cortland Apple is a great baking apple. It is available in the fall of the year, around September.

Cortland Apples were a cross breed apple. It came to be at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station 1898.

The Cortland apple is named after Cortland County, New York. Also from a Mr. Pierre Van Cortlandt.

Cortland County got its name from Mr. Pierre Van Cortland the President of the Convention who wrote the 1st Constitution for New York State. Mr. Pierre Van Cortland also served as lieutenant governor for the state as well. So the Cortland possesses a historic name in New York.

Being a juicy apple, makes Cortland apples great for anything. Being sweet and tart also does too. The flesh of this apple is white where as others tend to be yellow in nature.

Cortland Apples are great for baking of course, but also great served on a plate with cheese and crackers. They are great as garnishes. These apples tend not to color quickly which makes them a favorite as well.

To pick a good apple at the stand or grocer, test your Cortlands for firmness. In the palm of your hand, your apple should feel firm and heavy.

Also check it's skin. Is the outer layer wrinkling? If so, pass on the apple. Make sure it has the tough skin. Because if it is wrinkling it was in the cold too long or not long enough.

To keep your apples fresh is easy. Keep them cold in your refrigerator. Freezing will not happen unless the temperatures go below 28F.

A tip if you are going to have them sitting out for a longer period of time sliced up, rub the slices in a bit of lemon juice. It will keep them from browning up too.

Make sure to visit your local orchard to see what great apples they have. It is fun and a great thing to do with the kids. And it is the best way to taste a fresh apple anytime.

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