What is the best dessert to make with my 10 honeycrisp apples?
November 20, 2012 9:33 AM   Subscribe

What is the best dessert to make out of my 10 honeycrisp apples?

Thanksgiving is in two days and I'm supposed to bring a dessert to our 11 person holiday feast. We just received 10 organic honeycrisp apples from Harry and David. What should I do with them?

My first thought was to make them into one or two pies (possibly adding a few other apples) but I'm not sure honeycrisps are good pie apples. Some people really like them in pie, but others suggest they are too crisp or maybe too sweet.

But I have these honeycrisps and a charge to bring dessert to Thanksgiving, so how best can I use them? I'm not a tremendously good cook but I have made a pie before with good results. Is a pie the best use of these apples, the thing that my relatives would probably enjoy the most, especially if we put a bunch of ice cream on it? Or do honeycrisps do better in something like an apple cobbler? I don't think my family would go for just plain old baked apples, etc.

Also, if you have any killer recipes you would suggest for these apples, I will appreciate them very much!

Thanks, and happy holiday!
posted by onlyconnect to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Honeycrisp are quite delicious on their own. It seems a shame to bake them. Why not slice them up and have a caramel dip or some other fruit dip?
posted by mazola at 9:37 AM on November 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

Oooh, honeycrisps are SO magically delicious! However, they're not ideal cooking apples - they don't have enough acid and firmness to really stand up to protracted heat. I'd be sad if their numminess got destroyed, so speaking as a total stranger on the internet, I am advising you NOT (!!!) to cook them. Instead, do something that really showcases their strong points (as in, they are some DAMNED FINE eatin' apples!). Some random ideas:

- Dice them, toss them with honey, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, etc.
- Slice them, serve them with a nice, sharp, crumbly cheese - or multiple cheeses.
- Slice them, dry them, dip them in tempura batter, briefly fry them, serve with caramel dip.
- Slice them, toss them with some lemon juice, then serve them with a variety of super-indulgent sweet dips - cinnamon cream cheese, pumpkin, bourbon whipped cream, etc.
posted by julthumbscrew at 9:39 AM on November 20, 2012 [7 favorites]

Nthing the idea that baking honeycrisp is a crime. A nice dip/cheese plate is really the way to go. Just don't slice them up all at once (so they don't get all brown and bleh-looking) -- maybe pick the prettiest of the 10 and have it whole on the plate surrounded by a few of its sliced brethren. You really don't need very many apples to feed 11 people (I can put away quite a few on my own, but not everyone shares my rampant honeycrisp enthusiasm).
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 9:49 AM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Honeycrisps are eating out of hand apples, and imo, the peak of apple perfection for this purpose. I beg you, do not cook them.

Can you make ice cream? Because I'm thinking a cinnamon ice cream with caramel sauce and fresh apple slices would be extremely delicious.
posted by Mizu at 9:55 AM on November 20, 2012 [4 favorites]

For a mid-century retro-yumtastic touch, how about a Waldorf salad? Maybe add some pomegranate jewels for seasonal color and crunch.
posted by ottereroticist at 10:00 AM on November 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

Bring them in a big bowl for people to eat while waiting for the turkey to be ready and make something else for dessert.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:07 AM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

You need to make a Tarte Tatin.
posted by jph at 10:13 AM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm riding the "Don't Bake the Honeycrisps Train." I've bookmarked these Inside-Out Caramel Apples for my own use during the holidays, and they would be perfect for that!

I'd be tempted to try fancier caramels too for the centres, like these salted bourbon caramels...

(And I've read that a dip in lemon juice will keep the sliced apples from browning, but the drizzles hide it well enough.)
posted by peagood at 10:18 AM on November 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Don't cook a Honey-Crisp! Just don't they are so yummy all on their own.

Apples, walnuts and Stilton.

Let people cut the apples themselves.

Done and done.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:18 AM on November 20, 2012

As others have said, honeycrisps are not baking apples. Honeycrisps don't have the texture to cook. You'll end up with a mushy mess.

Bring the yummy apples to eat while the turkey cooks. Buy or bake a pumpkin pie
posted by 26.2 at 10:22 AM on November 20, 2012

Hmmm, okay, wow, I am hearing most of you beg me not to cook them. I guess I am surprised by the near-consensus here given that they are supposed to be a good baking apple, and that a bunch of people in previous AskMes even said they were a great pie apple. I guess people are saying that even if they can be a baking apple they shouldn't be, because their best flavor/texture is enjoyed when they are raw.

This is kind of a bummer for me because raw apples =/ dessert and that was my goal here, and also my family is not really big on plates of raw apples with cheese or caramel etc, but in any case I'm listening, and thanks for the feedback. I'm going to check out the Tarte Tatin, though. Not equipped to make ice cream, I'm afraid. Again, thanks for the feedback, and alternatives to plates of raw apples with cheese/nuts/caramel are still welcome, though, again, I hear you.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:22 AM on November 20, 2012

Here is a recipe for tarte tatin, if that's the direction you want to go in. Smitten Kitchen has yet to fail me. Good luck!
posted by dysh at 10:31 AM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

IMO.... Store the Honeycrisps and get the best type of apples for your Thanksgiving dessert.
Buy some good cooking apples -- rome, mcintosh, mccoun, cortland, empire, jonathan. A mix of varieties is even better. A mix of varieties gives you a more complex flavor and texture. Any TG crowd will love an apple pie or apple crisp.

Honeycrisp apples keep well. Enjoy them for snacks. Or bring them to work. Or use the Honeycrisps to make applesauce.
posted by valannc at 11:00 AM on November 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Sorry folks, but I cook with Honeycrisp. I use them in apple crisp or apple cobbler. I know they aren't a traditional cooking apple, but I like their texture (much more than granny smith, yuck.)
posted by cabingirl at 11:09 AM on November 20, 2012

If you're going to bake with them, I'd suggest getting some other apples to mix in on maybe a 1:1 ratio, something like a Granny Smith. that way you'd get the sweetness of the Honeycrisps, which will cook down much more, along with the tartness and firmness of pie apples. Also, the honeycrisps seem much more watery to me, so plan accordingly.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:22 AM on November 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Honeycrisp splices plus lemon juice taste like sour patch kids.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:31 AM on November 20, 2012

Yeah, I have to disagree with the allegation that Honeycrisp don't bake/cook properly. They have worked fine and retained great shape every time I have made a tarte tatin with them.
posted by jph at 11:31 AM on November 20, 2012

Tarte Tatin is the best way to cook Honeycrisps. Because they're bred for crunch when eaten fresh, they're best in cooked desserts that are meant to have a bit of crunch; in a traditional apple pie, they cook for long enough that the cell walls break down and you get watery mush.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:32 AM on November 20, 2012

Apple Crisp, Apple Crisp, Apple Crisp.

Make some Apple crisp. It's awesome, and you can put some good ice cream on top for added fun.
posted by Sphinx at 12:09 PM on November 20, 2012

I can't vouch for how well Honeycrisps would work in this, being a strict recipe-follower myself, but I really love this Apple Spice Cake. It's super easy and you can just leave the peel on all the apples!
posted by stellaluna at 2:20 PM on November 20, 2012

You can cook the honeyscrips but not too much, if that makes sense. So being lightly cooked as in a tartin or a crisp works nice. It is a waste to cook them to mush since it is the tart, acid sweet snap of the fruit that is pleasurable.
posted by jadepearl at 3:19 PM on November 20, 2012

This kuchen recipe is designed for Honeycrisp apples.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:45 PM on November 20, 2012

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