Apples of her eye

If you’re seeing a lot of apples these days, you’re not alone. I asked Christa Campbell, owner of Rainbow Orchards in Apple Hill, about her favorite varieties:“Now that we are into October, some of the varieties I enjoy using for cooking in August and September are no longer available (Galas, Jonathans, Gravenstein). After 30-plus years of cooking in the Rainbow Bake Shop, my favorite October, November and December apples are as follows:

“Good: Golden Delicious, the good-old standby, all-purpose apple. It needs very little or no added sugar, especially in applesauce. Good with tart varieties, such as Granny Smith, in pies and crisps.

“Better: Jonagold, a cross between a Golden Delicious (sweet and crisp) and a Jonathan (tart and crisp). It’s sweet and sour, crunchy and juicy, excellent for crisps, pies, applesauce and apple butter—it retains fresh flavor and texture when cooked.

“Best (by far!) is a tie between Fuji and Pink Lady. Fuji is crisp, crisp, crisp, and juicy, with a heavenly touch of sweetness; Pink Lady is snapping crisp, just-right sweetness with a perfect hint of tartness. Use both for anything and everything: pies, cakes, sauces, butters, crisps, caramel apples.”