Fall-time brings the smell of crisp leaves, the softness of a wooly sweater, hot chocolate mornings and hot cider evenings, and best of all, opportunities to indulge in our favorite harvest produce like apples and pears. There’s never a wrong way to enjoy these quintessential fall fruits. Fresh from your hand, paired with a savory cheese, or baked in a pie; the possibilities are endless and delicious.
At Market of Choice, we take our apples and pears seriously. By partnering with local farms through our DIG Local program, we are able to bring the freshest and most exceptional produce directly from the farm to the market.
If you’re looking for tasty apple and pear varieties to try this fall, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we highlight a few of our favorites, chosen for their unique flavors and textures. We also share our favorite pairings and seasonal recipes with apples and pears.
Rumor has it that this heirloom apple was favored by Thomas Jefferson who ordered eleven Spitzenburg trees for his private orchard. This apple is recognized by its crisp, yellow skin covered in a barrage of red stripes and copper-toned freckles.
It has a complex flavor, accentuated with sprightly and spicy undertones, and the perfect balance of sharp and sweet. This apple is ideal for baking in pies or making cider.
Due to its delicate nature, the Spitzenburg can be hard to find in most grocery store produce departments. We feel lucky to source ours directly from our DIG Local partners at the Kiyokawa Family Orchards in Parkdale, Oregon.
Mountain Rose Apple
Once known as the “surprise apple,” Mountain Rose is known for its distinct yellow skin, surprising pink- -to-red flesh and tart flavor that resembles a Strawberry Jolly Rancher.
To achieve a full robust flavor, this apple must be harvested later in the season, long after other apples have gone to market. It’s delicious when eaten fresh, pressed into cider or baked in desserts. We source our Mountain Rose apples from the Kiyokawa Family Orchards.
Crimson Crisp Apple
If you’re looking for an apple you can eat fresh out of hand or sliced on a cheese board, Crimson Crisp is the right pick for you. This petite apple boasts a creamy-white flesh with a surprisingly rich flavor and crisp bite.
Try a Crimson Crisp on a charcuterie board alongside dry salami, a slice of pear, and a bit of Smoky Blue or cheddar. This apple also bodes well in our Warm Kale & Apple Salad with Bacon & Spiced Pecans.
Truly a jack of all trades, the Crimson Crisp is a firm apple that’s great in baked desserts, like Apple Crisp. We source our Crimson Crisp apples from our DIG Local partners at Riverwood Orchards and Farms in Monmouth, Oregon.
Taylor’s Gold Pear
The best things in life are short-lived, and that’s certainly true about the Taylor’s Gold Pear. This beautiful, cinnamon-colored pear lasts only through fall in the northern hemisphere. So, get some while you can!
This pear is delightfully juicy, creamy and tender with a rich, sweet flavor and subtle notes of honey. Taylor’s Gold makes great sauces and pies, but some pear connoisseurs like to eat them fresh out of hand or paired with a nice Gorgonzola or Blue cheese.
Try it in our Pear Ginger Chutney with Pork Chops recipe for a cozy autumnal dinner. We source our Taylor’s Gold from Riverwood Orchards and Farms.
The elegant and classically shaped Concorde pear is recognized by its long neck that tapers to a near point at the top. The softness of the neck will tell you how ripe the pear is. Its dense flesh is sweet and juicy even when it’s firm, making the Concorde pear enjoyable to eat at various stages of ripening.
If you prefer a more crisp texture, eat the Concorde a day or two after purchase. As the Concorde ripens, it softens and mellows in flavor. This pear is perfect for snacking or adding to a savory salad. Try it in our Pear & Pecorino Salad with Cranberries & Hazelnuts salad recipe. It’s also ideal for cooking. We source our Concorde pears from Riverwood Orchards and Farms.
Tosca Italian Pear
First developed in Tuscany, Italy, this heirloom pear is thought to have been named after the infamous opera by Giacomo Puccini. Always crisp to the bite, and mildly exotic to the taste buds, this pear certainly gives us a lot to sing about.
The Tosca is a cross between a Coscia pear and a Bartlett pear. It’s recognized by its bell-shaped body and greenish-yellow skin. The flesh is creamy white, smooth and very firm with a sweet, smooth and juicy flavor.
This pear is great for snacking on-the-go, or slicing on salads and cheese boards. The Tosca is also great for cooking and baking. Try it in place of a Bartlett in our Brie & Pear Puff Pastry with Balsamic Syrup recipe. We source our Tosca Italian pears from Kiyokawa Family Orchard.