Montreal

Apple harvest is in full swing! What's your favourite apple?

We ask the big question: What's your favourite apple?

Get creative in the kitchen to preserve a haul of fresh apples

Montreal's markets are full of fresh local apples. (Jonathan Morin/CBC)

Apple picking season is in full swing and the markets around Montreal are bursting with fresh local produce.

CBC's Radio Noon conducted an informal listener poll this week, asking the question: What's your favourite apple?

Honeycrisp came out on top of the Radio Noon poll. Empire, Granny Smith and McIntosh tied for second place.

Tim Petch, who runs Petch Orchards in Hemmingford, Que., says that when it comes to apples, getting them at the height of the season makes all the difference.

"That's what's unique about apples. Each one has its own season of ripeness, starting in the middle of July all the way till the end of October," said Petch. "Nobody's wrong with the apple that they love."

​Picking a favourite apple is a tough choice for Petch, but he says the late October Ambrosia apple is his first pick.

Baking is a great way to preserve a big haul of apples, said Nevine Elchibini, who teaches healthy cooking courses in Pierrefonds. (Jonathan Morin/CBC)

Crunching vs cooking apples

Montreal Gazette restaurant critic Lesley Chesterman has fond memories of going apple picking outside of Montreal as a girl.

"Growing up in Quebec, we all went apple picking when we were young," Chesterman said. "We had a tree in the backyard, right in downtown Montreal."

She says that when faced with choosing a favourite apple, it's important to note the distinction between apples for eating, apples for cooking and apples for baking.

"A Granny Smith is an amazing cooking apple," she said. "For baking, for me, it's a Golden apple. It's hard to beat a McIntosh, but never put one in a pie. It's too watery, it won't cook properly."

Honeycrisp came out on top of the Radio Noon poll. Empire, Granny Smith and McIntosh tied for second place. (Jonathan Morin/CBC)

Getting creative in the kitchen

Baking is a great way to preserve a big haul of apples, said Nevine Elchibini, who teaches healthy cooking courses in Pierrefonds.

But it's not all about high sugar, high fat apple pies and apple crisps.

"I make apple sauce to replace sugar in a lot of recipes," Elchibini said. "At this time of year I couple it with pumpkin and squash."

She added: "If you could smell my house right now, I'm making apple chips. Slice apples really thin, sprinkle cinnamon, rub lemon juice on them so they don't oxidize and then leave them in the oven at 200 degrees for a few hours."

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