These 17 Recipes Prove Apple Season Is the Best Season
The quintessential fall fruit shines in pies, salads, cocktails—and even mac and cheese.
When it’s apple-picking time, we stop at orchard stands to stock up on Pink Ladies for apple butter and applesauce, Honeycrisps to bake into cakes, Fujis for those caramel-coated candied treats, and Braeburns for rustic tarts.
Then there’s the multitude of fragrant alcoholic beverages. Generations ago, farmers in cool Northern states grew sturdy heirloom varieties like Ashmead’s Kernel and Golden Russets to press into hard cider. (Remember Johnny Appleseed?) Now, thanks to a cider renaissance, we can skip the hard work and sip scrumpy in a cider house—or on the couch. And let’s not forget Normandy’s favorite spirit, Calvados, for the Francophiles among us.
Beyond desserts and boozy sips, countless savory dishes benefit from the addition of apples, whether they’re blitzed into a sauce for roasts or folded into mac and cheese. To that end, we’ve picked (ha!) these 17 recipes ranging from hors d’oeuvres to dessert for the next time you’re in the mood for them apples.
Up your pie game with the addition of a smooth caramel sauce spread atop tart Granny Smith and sweet Golden Delicious apples baked in a deep-dish lattice crust. Get the recipe >
Honeycrisps browned in butter lend a sweet, nutty note to the pan juices of these roasted duck legs. Get the recipe >
When baked over open flame, this campfire pie takes on a smoky, caramelized character, but the home oven version turns out equally tasty—and doesn’t require playing with matches. Get the recipe >
Normandy natives stuff this crunchy breakfast brioche with frangipane cream. Our version gets a boozy finish from Calvados, the region’s famous apple brandy. Get the recipe >
If you like apple pie à la mode, you’ll love this cool, creamy riff, which has a gingersnap crust and a filling of vanilla ice cream swirled with poached Fuji apples. A drizzle of brandy-infused caramel sauce makes a decadent final flourish. Get the recipe >
This autumnal salad that tosses together lacinato kale and Cortland apples gets its tartness from a cider and Shanxi vinegar dressing. Get the recipe >
We like to peel Empire and Gala apples for the chunky sauce that’s baked into this rich custard dessert. Go ahead and splash on some Calvados brandy. Get the recipe >
In Normandy, pork and apples go together like maman and pie. We like Fujis here as they stay firm but tender alongside this lacquered roast. Get the recipe >
For Jewish families celebrating Rosh Hashanah, apples and honey traditionally represent the sweetness of a new year. This cake marries Granny Smiths and plump raisins with a streusel topping and pie-like dough. Get the recipe >
This bread stuffing is both sweet and savory, thanks to the addition of McIntosh apples and crispy pork sausage. Stuff it into turkey or chicken, or put an egg on it and call it dinner. Get the recipe >
The classic comfort food side gets a “bake-over” in this recipe that includes hard cider and red-skinned apples, which bubble to gooey perfection in an oven-proof dish. Get the recipe >
In Denmark, cooks caramelize hearty Braeburn baking apples in bacon fat before roasting with thick slices of smoked pork belly. It’s a winter favorite that often snuggles with dishes such as pork loin or schnitzel. Get the recipe >
Hailing from Virginia, this old-fashioned recipe calls for heirloom Stayman apples, but late-fall Paulas or Winesaps are just as flavorful. We love spreading apple butter on ham sandwiches. Get the recipe >
Puckering crabapples flavor this Québec-style rye or vodka digestif sweetened with maple syrup. Get the recipe >
Jacques Pépin shared his mother’s recipe for this rustic tart of juicy Cortland apples. A light apricot glaze gives it a masterful finish. Get the recipe >
Southerners (especially folks from Appalachia) can’t get enough of these deep-fried cinnamon-ginger hand pies dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Get the recipe >
When the weather turns cold, we love to whip up a big batch of this bourbon-apple apéritif to sip beside a roaring fire. Get the recipe >