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Apples, Empire (ON) - 3lb
Empire apples are a small to medium-sized varietal with a slightly lopsided, round to ovate shape, sometimes showcasing an irregular, slanted appearance. The apple’s skin is semi-thick, chewy, and tough and has a yellow-green base, covered in crimson to brick red blush, striations, and striping.
Empire apples have a sweet-tart flavor well suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The multi-purpose apple can be consumed straight, out of hand, or it can be sliced and tossed into salads as the flesh retains its white hue for extended periods. The apples can also be sprinkled with lemon juice to prolong their white appearance and are popularly chopped and mixed into grain bowls, slaws, fruit dishes, overnight oats, and oatmeal. The apple’s crisp flesh can be sliced and dipped in chocolate as a sweet treat, candied whole, or blended into juices, smoothies, and ciders as a tangy flavoring. In addition to fresh preparations, Empire apples hold their shape well when heated and can be roasted, baked, sauteed, and pureed. Empire apples are often baked into scones, fritters, dumplings, cakes, muffins, pies, cakes, and strudels, hollowed and stuffed with dried fruits and nuts, or pureed into sauces. The apples can also be incorporated into stuffing, sauteed as a side dish to roasted meats, simmered into jellies and jams, or cooked into apple butter. Beyond fresh and cooked preparations, Empire apples can be frozen or dried for extended use. Empire apples pair well with fruits such as strawberries, coconut, pears, and cherries, cheeses including brie, cheddar, goat, and blue, potatoes, herbs such as rosemary, mint, and parsley, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, and spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
Whole, unwashed Empire apples will keep 1 to 2 months when stored in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. In professional cold storage, the apples can be kept for up to ten months.