Empire, Gala, Ginger Gold, Honeycrisp and Mutsu apples from Terhune Orchards in Salt Point, New York.

Fall Apple Dishes by ICE Alumni

New York City chefs and pastry chefs share their approaches to working with local apples on fall menus.

New Yorkers know fall is here to stay when apple picking photos begin flooding social media feeds. Of course, traveling to orchards is optional. The change in season is evident at the city’s many greenmarkets where the state’s 25 apple varieties topple over wooden crates at many farm stands.

We asked a few local chefs how they’re using the official state fruit for seasonal menus and which varieties they prefer.

City Vineyard's ciabatta bread with apple chutney.
City Vineyard's ciabatta bread with apple chutney

At City Vineyard at Pier 26, executive chef Mike Landas (Culinary, '08) blends Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Roma apples for a chutney served on the restaurant’s charcuterie platter, with the Vineyard Chicken & Waffle brunch dish and atop ciabatta bread pudding with bourbon caramel sauce.

“I absolutely love the deliberate crunch and inherent sweetness of Honeycrisp apples,” Chef Mike says. “They remind me of family apple picking trips when I was a child. Back then, we would pick Red Delicious, Fuji, McIntosh and Gala. I'm sure if Honeycrisp were available back in the day, we would have picked those, too!”

He also freshly juliennes Honeycrisps as a garnish for City Vineyard’s autumn kale and arugula salad, served with pomegranate seeds and butternut squash.

The restaurant typically sources produce from popular purveyor Baldor, and Chef Mike is proud to use regional apples from Hudson River Fruit, just north of Manhattan in Milton, New York. “It's vital to support the local farms and economy,” he says.

In Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, Sohui Kim (Culinary/Management, '02) also incorporates apples into her brunch menu at The Good Fork.

“I make compote with many different types of apples but I prefer Granny Smith for its acidity and brightness when cooked,” the chef and owner explains. “Honeycrisps are fan favorites here at The Good Fork as well as Galas.”

She serves the compote, a sweet fruit sauce, with maple mascarpone and syrup on French toast.

Back in Manhattan, Executive Chef Tyler Heckman (Culinary, '15) sources apples from the iconic Union Square Greenmarket, where you can find 15 varieties from Cardonna Farm and Terhune Orchards and half a dozen from Breezy Hill Orchard and Migliorelli Farm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

“I’m obsessed with grilled fruits,” he says. “The apples are extremely juicy and lightly sweet, playing the role of freshness. I toss them in salt and a bit of sugar and get light color on them and a light char flavor from the grill.”

Chef Tyler uses grilled red apples and raw green apples in a mackerel crudo dish served with dashi on his latest menu at Ferris in the MADE Hotel. He also serves apple with a chicken liver mousse.

Deconstructed apple pie at Society Cafe
Deconstructed apple pie at Society Cafe

Nearby, Society Cafe Pastry Chef Ashton Warren (Pastry, ’08) also sources her produce from the Union Square Greenmarket, a brief walk from the Walker Hotel restaurant. One of her fall desserts is a deconstructed apple pie with pie crust layers reminiscent of a Napoleon.

"The layers contain smoked apples and rosemary with butterscotch, and the ‘pie’ is topped with a rosemary brown butter ice cream,” she explains. “I'm using Granny Smith apples because they bring a refreshing and bright note to an otherwise sweet combination of ingredients."

Chef Ashton slices the apples from Cardonna Farm in Marlboro, New York, tops the slices with rosemary and puts them in a double boiler where she's been toasting cedar chips. She covers the boiler to trap smoke and infuse the slices with flavor before layering the indulgent dessert.

Share how you’re using apples in the kitchen this season with @iceculinary, and explore a career in plant-based cooking.

Submitted by MarcAnthony on October 9, 2019 4:07pm

Both look delicious but I can't wait to try the deconstructed version from Society Cafe! 

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