Our local markets have begun to sell some of the most delicious apples we have ever eaten. They’re called “Honeycrisp,” and they’re a perfect mixture of sweet and tart.
Those same markets are also now carrying several other unfamiliar varieties, but since we tried the Honeycrisps—our first fresh local batch of apples this season—we haven’t gotten any others. My favorites used to be Gala, and my husband’s favorites were Red Delicious. Shortly after we were married, we discovered the Pink Lady, and we changed our minds about our individual preferences. Until we discovered the Honeycrisp, the Pink Lady apples were always our first choice. Now, we make an extra, rather out of the way stop to get the Honeycrisp, and boy! is it ever worth the time and fuel!
So far, we have just eaten all the Honeycrisp apples we’ve gotten, but we’re looking forward to doing a little experimenting with them. With their blend of sweet and tart, we’re guessing that they’ll do well in crisps and pies, as well as in applesauce and apple cider. They’d probably be good for apple butter, too, but it seems to me, in a weird kind of way, as though all that cinnamon and nutmeg would waste really good apples.
With a little bit of online investigating, I discovered that the Honeycrisp is a cross between a Macoun and a Honeygold. Apparently, we have the University of Minnesota’s apple-breeding program to thank for this very successful experiment!
Here’s one recipe I found that has been adapted to use Honeycrisp apples—the original recipe was on Recipezaar (who, by the way, has a feature on apples on their home page right now—”An Apple a Day”) but what’s here in this post is different, adjusted to include recommendations found throughout the comments on the original recipe:
Polish Sauerkraut and Apples
- 14 ounces sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
- 1 pound fully cooked turkey kielbasa, cut into 2 inch pieces
- medium Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ teaspoon caraway seed
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup apple juice
- Place half of the sauerkraut in the bottom of a slow cooker or Crock Pot.
- Top the sauerkraut with the sausage and apples, and then add the remainder of the sauerkraut.
- Mix together the brown sugar, caraway seeds, and pepper, and sprinkle this mixture evenly on top of the sauerkraut, sausage, and apples.
- Pour apple juice all over everything in the slow cooker or Crock Pot.
- Cover and cook on low for four to five hours or until the apples are tender.
Okay, some of this looks good to me, but I’ll never understand rinsing sauerkraut, for one. For another, turkey kielbasa doesn’t appeal to me—we’ll probably use all-out original kielbasa or some other kind of sausage, depending on what’s in the freezer when I get another bag of Honeycrisps. One other thing is the caraway seed. We’ve never cooked with caraway seed, but we do have it, since it came in our pre-filled spice rack. It’s a good thing we’re all adventurous eaters…this will definitely be an adventure!