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Apples are popular fruits across the globe, and are relished by one and all. In fact, their health benefits makes them one of the most recommended fruits to consume. There are scores of different types of apples on this planet, which vary in their size, color, and flavor. While some are deep red in color, others are fresh green or even golden-yellow.

All apples contain soluble and insoluble fibers. The soluble fibers present in them, such as pectin, etc., help reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood. This in turn helps keep heart diseases and atherosclerosis at bay. The insoluble fibers on the other hand, hold water in the intestine and hence, help prevent constipation.

The large number of apple types available, can make things quite complicated. It becomes quite a task, trying to pick the right apple variety for pies, sauces, salads, side dishes, and sometimes just to eat them fresh and raw. Various recipes call for apples, however, which kind should you choose, if the recipe fails to specify. Let's take a look at the different varieties, along with their uses in the table given below.

Variety Fresh and Salads Pie Sauce Baking (Whole)
Cortland Excellent Fair Good Fair
Crispin (Mutsu) Excellent Good Good Good
Criterion Very Good Good Good Good
Empire Excellent Good Good Fair
Gala Excellent Good Good Good
Ginger Gold Excellent Good Good Good
Golden Delicious Excellent Good Good Good
Granny Smith Very Good Very Good Very Good Fair
Gravenstein Very Good Very Good Excellent Fair
Idared Good Good Good Good
Jonagold Very Good Very Good Good Very Good
JonaMac Excellent Fair Fair Good
Jonathan Very Good Very Good Very Good Good
Liberty Good Good Good Fair
Macoun Very Good Poor Fair Fair
McIntosh Good Fair Fair Poor
Newtown Pippin Very Good Excellent Very Good Good
Northern Spy Excellent Excellent Good Excellent
Paulared Good Excellent Excellent Good
Red Delicious Excellent Fair Fair Poor
Rome Beauty Good Good Good Excellent
Sansa Excellent Fair Good Good
Winesap Very Good Very Good Good Good

Recipe for Apple Butter
Apple butter is nothing but a highly concentrated form of apple sauce. It does not contain dairy products, but is named 'apple butter' due to its thick and soft consistency. Moreover, since it is also used as a bread spread, it bears semblance to butter. For many families in the South, preparation of apple butter is a family event. The following recipe is a simple and easy one that you can try preparing.

Ingredients
  • 10 pints apples (peeled and sliced)
  • 4 cups raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
Method of Preparation

Drop the apple slices into a large kettle with water, and allow it to come to a boil. Then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer. Continue to let it simmer until the apples have softened. Once done, allow it to cool. Then pass the softened apples through a food mill. This strained applesauce needs to be mixed with the remaining ingredients in another clean kettle. Once again, bring the applesauce to boil and continue to stir till the sugar completely dissolves. Cook on low heat (uncovered), till the applesauce mixture becomes thick enough. You need to cook the apple sauce for at least 2½ hours, stirring frequently. Once you are done, you need to pour the apple butter into hot, sterilized jars and seal it. This recipe is suitable for making about 2 quarts of apple butter.

There are about 7500 varieties of apples, of which only the popular ones were mentioned in this article. Irrespective of their color, size, type, etc., apples are delicious fruits enjoyed by all.