Why Apples Are the Most Versatile Food for Fall

From baked goods to savoury dishes, Granny Smith apples are delicious in virtually all your fall recipes.

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The smell of apple pie baking in the oven is synonymous with the start of fall. While apples are certainly a fruit to be enjoyed year-round, there’s something about their sweet fragrance filling the home that brings about a sense of comfort and coziness as the weather turns cool.

Here are just a few of the many reasons to love Granny Smith apples, plus some delicious ideas for how to enjoy them.

Apples earn an A+ for nutrition

A medium apple contains just 80 calories and has no fat, cholesterol, or sodium. Plus, apples are high in dietary fibre and a source of vitamin C. To get the most nutritional benefit, only peel your apples if a recipe specifically calls for peeled apples—otherwise, enjoy the skin!

Trying to watch what you eat? Snacking on an apple will help you stay satiated longer thanks to its complex carbohydrates, which give your body a longer, more even energy boost than a sugary snack would.

The crisp taste of a Granny Smith apple pleases all palettes

Apples are one of the world’s most popular fruits, with Granny Smith being one of the more popular varieties. This variety originated in Australia in the mid-1800s after they were discovered growing in Grannie Smith’s garden. Bright green in colour, with a tart, crisp and juicy taste, Granny Smith apples gained a following and eventually made their way to the United States in the 1970s where they’re now grown in California. Thanks to long summers and a hot climate, Granny Smith apples have been able to thrive in California orchards.

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It’s a versatile fruit with endless options

An apple on its own is a perfect snack, whether you’re at home or on the go. (Try them paired with cheese or peanut butter!) But baking and cooking with apples is guaranteed to give you a new appreciation for this popular fruit. Granny Smith apples grown in California are one of the best varieties for using in salads and baking. They’re also good sautéed and used in sauces and savoury dishes. The options really are endless!

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Feeling inspired (and hungry)? This Apple Crisp recipe has a unique twist: it’s baked on the barbecue!

Cast Iron Apple Crisp

This is the ultimate in comfort foods with tender sweet-tart apples and a buttery crunchy topping. Now you can enjoy apple crisp even in the height of summer with this version, prepared on the barbecue.

US Apple ExportPhoto Credit: US Apple Export

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8 to 10


  • 6 large U.S. Granny Smith or Gala apples, peeled and sliced (about 7 cups/1.75 L)
  • ⅓ cup (75 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) melted butter
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch


  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) large flake rolled oats
  • 1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
  • ½ cup (125 mL) melted butter
  • Ice cream to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat a gas barbecue to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large bowl, toss sliced apples with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and cornstarch until well coated. Spread apple mixture evenly in a buttered, 10-inch (25 cm) cast iron skillet.
  3. Topping: In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt with a fork until well combined. Drizzle over butter; stir until butter is evenly distributed and mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over apples.
  4. Place skillet on grill; positioning to one side if your burners run side-to-side, or closer to the back if your burners run front-to-back. Close lid and turn off burners directly under the skillet. Cook, with lid closed, for about 1 hour or until topping is golden and apples are bubbly and tender. Serve warm with ice cream (if desired).

Note: Check gage often and adjust remaining burner(s) from medium to medium-high as needed to keep the temperature within a range of 375 to 400°F (190 to 200°C); rotate skillet every 20 minutes for even cooking.


Oven method: Bake the apple crisp in the skillet or a 10-inch (25 cm) baking dish for 45 to 55 minutes at 375°F (190°F). Tent the apples with foil if the topping browns before apples are tender.

To make individual crisps, divide apples between four 5-inch (12 cm) mini cast iron skillets. Divide crumb mixture, sprinkling generously. Adjust total cook time as needed.

This crisp has a generous crumb topping; if you prefer less crumbs, reserve any extra in the freezer to use for another apple crisp or as a streusel topping for muffins another time.

If using a charcoal grill, set up the charcoal for indirect heat before lighting. Cover the skillet with foil for the first 30 minutes to reduce the transfer of smoky flavour to the dessert.

Per serving (1/8th recipe): 440 calories, 17 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 40 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 70 g carbohydrates (45 g sugars), 3 g fibre, 4 g protein. %DV: 5% calcium, 9% iron, 15% vitamin A, 4% vitamin C.


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