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Fresh apple tips

* The best pie filling combines "saucy" apples (that cook down to a saucelike texture) and "shapely" apples (that hold their shape after baking). Pick one variety from each category. Saucy apples include McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Mutsu (Crispin...

* The best pie filling combines "saucy" apples (that cook down to a saucelike texture) and "shapely" apples (that hold their shape after baking). Pick one variety from each category. Saucy apples include McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Mutsu (Crispin), Paula Red and Empire. Shapely apples include Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Jonagold, Northern Spy and Idared.

* Look for skin that is shiny, not dull. Dull apples won't be crisp and tasty.

* Keep apples refrigerated at about 32 degrees. Fruit bowls are beautiful, but apples won't stay crisp for long on the countertop.

* Protect cut apples from oxidation by dipping them into a solution of one part citrus juice and three parts water.

Sources: Washington Apple Commission and Eating Well

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