(From humble apple pie to chunky apple cakes: All you can do with apples this season)

Apples are synonymous with Kashmir. It isn’t a mere coincidence that the world thinks the secret behind our blushing pink cheeks are the apples, grown in abundance across Kashmir valley. 

Apple is to Kashmir what oil is to Gulf. Kashmir produces tons of apple crop every year. The commonly grown varieties include the ‘red delicious’, ‘ambur’ , ‘Amrikan treal’ yellow’ Chamboura’ and ‘maharaji’Infact apples and walnuts make for a good chunk of our annual GDPCome every autumn when the Chinar leaves have just started getting their signature golden hues, Kashmir gets busy plucking apples. One can see entire families working together in the apple orchards plucking basket after basket of ripe apples and if you are lucky enough to be passing through, they might even offer you a fresh apple right from the tree. 

While most of us may enjoy eating a freshly plucked apple right from our own orchard, our apple consumption doesn’t have to be restricted to just eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away. There are countless  baked recipes that can be prepared using apples, but before we can jump into all the delicious baking that one can do with an apple, we need to be a little more informed about which apples to use and for what. Since Kashmir grows good number of varieties, each of these differ in their taste. 

Besides  total sugar content there are two very important aspects that one needs to be mindful about when baking with apples. The red delicious variety that is harvested around mid-October is the sweetest with a total sugar content of 12-18 TSS, making this variety perfect for baking sweet desserts. The golden delicious apples that are green to begin with but turn golden as they ripen have a tartness to them and thus can be used to make jams and spreads. The maharaji variety has a sourness to it and is thus preferred for use as a preservative. The Ambrivariety, which is indigenous to Kashmir, has the highest sugar content and is accompanied by a flowery aroma but due to its low shelf life, it isn’t commercially grown. If you happen to have this variety at home, it will make the perfect addition to your desserts and will not only eliminate the need for a huge amount of sugar but also help keep the baked desserts super moist. 

Now that you are aware of which apples to use for what, whip out that apron and twirl that whisk because you will be making your entire family (and maybe the neighbours too) drool with the delicious aromas wafting out of your kitchen.

Baked Desserts Using apples:

1. Apple Crisps

A delicious dessert that oozes out with the softness of sliced apples and the perfect crunchiness of baked oats while giving a sensory overdose of that perfect cinnamon aroma.

2. A perfect Apple Cake

This recipe is as versatile as it is easy. You can tailor it exactly as per the demands of your taste buds. Use a few tart apples along with sweet ones. Throw in a few nuts and a generous pinch of cinnamon. Break the rules and shake the things up a little for even that perfect recipe was a result of experiments.

3. Apple Brownies

You have apples and you have walnuts, if it isn’t an apple brownie that you are making, what are you doing. A cinnamon spiced brownie with sweet apples and walnuts is the perfect dessert to wow you guests with on a crisp fall evening.

4Apple Pie

Nothing lifts up the mood like a good old apple pie served with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream plus the pie filling can be prepared with whatever apple combinations that your heart desires. A classic recipe that never goes out of style or disappoints you.

5. Apple Cobbler Crumble

If you love baking and desserts, this 5 ingredient recipe is a must for you. A baked dessert of alternating layers of sliced apples and a sweet cinnamon flavoured flour is a comforting indulgence any day of the year.

7. Apple Strudel

An age old dessert that traces its origins all the way to Austria, this dessert consists of a pastry pocket filled with an apple filling. The filling can be prepared from sour, tart, sweet-all possible varieties of grated apples spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and sugar.

6. Caramel Apple Bars

A perfect treat for those lazy fall days when you want something sweet with minimum efforts. Prepare a batch beforehand and every time you feel like having some, just warm in a microwave and enjoy.

8. Apple Cupcake

This is the season for apples! And when you don’t feel like having an apple pie then these Apple Cupcakes are just the best alternative that you can get. Perfectly spiced cupcakes paired with from-scratch apple goodness… you really can’t go wrong with these delicious cupcakes!

9. Baked Apple Chips

There must be very few people in this world who don’t indulge in a packet of potato chips every now and then but if you have apples at home, you can enjoy that satisfying crunch without the enormous amount of guilt that a packet of potato chips comes with.  So bring out that mandolin slicer tucked away in your kitchen drawers and start slicing.

10. Baked Apple Dumpling 

With a flaky crust, warm spiced apple, and rich caramel sauce, these dumplings are right behind pie as the ultimate apple dessert. The dish is begging for something creamy, so be sure to have whipped cream or ice cream on hand for serving.

PULLOUT: Despite have plentiful apples available, the bakeries of the valley haven’t really made
apples the centre of their baking. Although there are a few bakeries and cafes that are incorporating the locally produced apples in their dessert menu but not all trying their hands out. There are a ton of baked recipes that can be prepared using apples.

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