A Guide to Persimmons

fuyu persimmon

As the holiday season approaches, persimmons are reaching their peak sweetness. If you haven’t cooked with persimmons before, this will help you get started. Keep reading for persimmon recipes and tips on choosing a ripe persimmon.  

What is a persimmon?

Feature Video
A fuyu persimmon

There are over 2,000 varieties of persimmons, but there are two types that are widely available in American grocery stores: the fuyu and the hachiya. Both of these varieties originated in Japan, and are in season between October and January. This late season makes persimmons the perfect fruit to add a little freshness and sweetness to winter dinner. 

Persimmons have a delicate honey-like flavor and silky texture. They can be eaten fresh, dried, or cooked, and are very versatile in recipes. Persimmon peels are completely edible. Whether or not to peel the fruit is a matter of personal preference and the recipe that you’re using. 

How can you tell if a persimmon is ripe?

Persimmons fall into two broad categories: astringent and non-astringent. Astringent persimmons, like the pointy-bottomed hachiya, should be softer than you think. Don’t look for the gentle give of a peach, a ripe hachiya persimmon should be closer to the texture of jelly. If an astringent persimmon is eaten before it’s totally ripe, it will have an unpleasant dry texture. 

Non-astringent persimmons, like the flat-bottomed fuyu, can be eaten when they’re still slightly firm. 

How to cut persimmons

how to cut persimmons

Cutting this fruit is simple. Use a knife to cut around the base of the stem and remove it completely. Cut the persimmon in half pole to pole. Use a knife to remove the white core of the fruit and discard it. Once the core has been removed you can either slice or dice the persimmon according to your recipe. The entire peel is edible.

What to make with persimmons? 

Persimmons can be the start of sweet or savory dishes. A sliced persimmon will add a subtle sweetness to rice dishes, salads, or even sandwiches.  These are some of our favorite recipes using persimmons.

Spicy Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry with Persimmon Rice

Spicy Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry with Persimmon Rice

Fontina & Sourdough Grilled Cheese with Persimmon & Onion

Persimmons in grilled cheese

Harissa-Baked Chicken with Farro, Persimmon, & Goat Cheese Salad

Baked Chicken with Persimmons

Love cooking with fruit? Find more sweet and savory dinner ideas here.

7 Types of Pear Varieties

Get to know the humble pear. From smooth-skinned Bartlett to leathery looking (but very delicious) Bosc pears, we’re here to help you pick the best pears for eating, baking, and salads.

When are pears in season? 

In general, pears are in season from August through October, although there may be some variations depending on where the variety you have in mind is grown. In the U.S., over 90% of the pears available in supermarkets are grown domestically. 

Types of Pears

Asian pear
Asian pear

Asian pear

Asian pear trees are native to East Asia, but today they’re grown across the world, including in the U.S.. Asian pears are large and juicy. They have a higher water content than most European pear varieties. This water content gives the fruit a delicious texture when eaten raw, but makes them less suitable for baking and jam making. 

bosc pear
Bosc pear

Bosc pear

The Bosc pear, sometimes known as the Kaiser pear, is native to France and Belgium. It is named after Louis Bosc, a French horticulturist. Bosc pears are a deep brown color and have a slightly rough peel. Their flesh is firm and juicy. This texture makes the Bosc pear well-suited for baking or poaching. 

bartlett pear
Bartlett pear

Bartlett pear

The Bartlett pear, sometimes called the Williams pear, ripens from green to yellow. To tell if these pears are completely ripe, press lightly on the pear near the stem. If the fruit gives slightly under pressure, it’s ready to eat. Bartlett pears have a buttery texture, and are the pears most often used in canning in the U.S..

Red Anjou Pear


Anjou pears are well-suited for baking, poaching, or roasting. When eaten raw, they have a subtle sweetness and light lemony flavor. Anjou pears can be red or green. They have a short neck and a bell-shaped body.  


Comice pears were originally cultivated in France. They’re known as the sweetest pear variety, and are often the variety shipped in gift boxes. Because of this, they’re sometimes given the nickname “the Christmas pear.” Comice pears have light green skin with a blush of pinkish red. 

Taylors gold

Taylor’s Gold pears were first discovered in New Zealand. Their name is a nod to their golden brown skin. Taylor’s Gold pears may be a mutation of the Comice pear. Taylor’s Gold pears are good for cooking, baking, or eating raw.

Seckel pear

Seckel Pears

Seckel pears trace their origins to Pennsylvania. These pears are small with a short neck and round body. Their flesh is sweet and crunchy. The fruit has a larger grain than most European varieties. It is harvested in the fall, but stores well, and can be eaten throughout the winter.

After you stock up on your favorite pears, try our recipe for spiced pear butter. 

How to Cut a Pineapple

whole pineapples

There are plenty of good reasons to buy a pineapple. Whether you’re blending up piña coladas, or making sweet and savory dinner, you’ll need to start by learning how to cut a pineapple.  

Whole vs. pre-cut pineapple 

Perusing a local Wegmans online shows that a whole pineapple, which weighs approximately 2lbs, costs $3.49. Pre-cut pineapple rings up at $4.09 for just 10 oz. 

That’s $3.49 for 32 oz of pineapple, or $4.09 for 10 oz. 

Sure, whole pineapples have some extra weight. The fronds and skin are inedible, and should be discarded. Even if we generously estimate that the inedible portions weigh in at 10 oz, the whole pineapple is still a much better value. At this store, a whole pineapple costs about 15¢ cents per edible ounce, while the pre-cut pineapple costs 41¢ per ounce.  

It’s not that the cut pineapple is overpriced. The extra cost pays for the employees who do the work of cutting and packaging the pineapple. Customers pay a premium for the convenience. For cooks with limited mobility, or for those hoping to eat on the go, pre-cut pineapple is a good option. 

However, if you’re looking to save money or reduce packaging waste, buying a whole pineapple is an easy way to save on both. 

How to cut a whole pineapple 

Don’t be intimidated by the various spikes: it’s easy to cut a pineapple at home. 

To get started, you’ll need a cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife. 

To remove the green fronds, lay the pineapple on its side and cut a clean slice about ½ inch from the base of the fronds.  Next, cut off the rounded end of the pineapple. Just slice cleanly through the pineapple starting about a ½ inch from the base. Your pineapple should now have two flat ends.

how to cut a pineapple skin
Remove pineapple skin

Stand the pineapple on one of its newly created flat ends. It should be stable. To remove the skin, simply slice it away with long vertical cuts. Follow the shape of the pineapple, and cut all the way around.

Next, cut the pineapple into three slabs and remove the core. Looking down at the pineapple, imagine a triangle surrounding the core. With your knife, slice along one side of the imaginary triangle. Repeat along a second side. You should now have one remaining plank of pineapple with the core attached. Use your knife to cut the core away, as shown below. 

Remove pineapple core
Remove pineapple core

You should now have three slabs of pineapple. Working one at a time, lay each slab on its flat end. Slice vertically into three long spears. Keeping the spears together, slice crosswise about 1 inch intervals to create pineapple wedges. 

Save money and packaging waste by buying whole pineapples.
Cut pineapple into chunks

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Pink Lemons from the Eureka Lemon Tree

If you’ve cooked with us, you know we love our lemon zest. There’s nothing wrong with the Lisbon lemons you probably buy at your local super market, but sometimes it’s fun to branch out. That’s when we turn to pink lemons.

Pink Lemons on Eureka Lemon Tree at Limoneira Orchard in California

Variegated pink lemons, like the ones cultivated at Limoneira orchard, are a delightfully eccentric fruit. This citrus is known for its floral tangy flavor and its striking striped skin.

Types of Lemons

The pink lemon was discovered around 1930 among the branches of an ordinary Eureka lemon tree in Burbank, California. The pink lemon is also known as the variegated pink lemon because of its unpredictable appearance.

Pink Lemons vs. Meyer Lemons

Pink lemons are wild variety that evolved naturally. Meyer lemons, on the other hand, were created by crossbreeding lemons and mandarin oranges.

Pink Lemons

Do pink lemons make pink lemonade?

The distinctive pigment of the pink lemon’s flesh comes from a higher concentration of lycopene, the same compound that gives pink grapefruit and tomatoes their color.

Pink lemonade isn’t made from pink lemons. According to folklore, the original pink lemonade created in the mid-1800s got its color from a dubious source: a vat of water used to wash pink stockings. Today, the color in pink lemonade usually comes from red berries, or more commonly, from food dye added to regular lemonade.

That’s not to say it couldn’t be done! The flavor of a variegated lemon is perfect for lemonade, as they’re naturally sweeter than Eureka or Lisbon lemons. Just don’t expect a bright hot pink, natural pink lemonade will have a more subtle hue.

Pink lemons facts

We believe variety is the spice of life. We love introducing you to new ingredients and the best ways to use them. Trying new food isn’t just fun, it also encourages biodiversity—the variety of life on our planet—on farms. Over the course of the last century, crop diversity has declined as national food retail chains have consolidated and demanded less variety from agricultural production. Agricultural biodiversity, which encompasses the genetic variety in crops, helps farmers successfully grow food and maintain sustainable farm landscapes.

Limoneira Orchard & Blue Apron

Today most consumers are so used to a narrow range of choices, they’re less likely to pick out an unusual piece of fruit at the grocery store, even if it was available. We plan to change that. By filling your box with fruits and veggies that aren’t yet grown on a commercial scale, like fairytale eggplants, patty pan squash, salt and pepper cucumbers and pink lemons, we’re helping create demand for an array of delicious yet under-the-radar produce that might otherwise be overlooked. Plus, who are we kidding? Life is way more fun when we’re a little adventurous.

pink lemons quote biodiversity

Red, White & Blue Berry Shortcakes with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

mixed berry shortcake
Mixed berry shortcakes

We love a friendly competition just as much as we love dessert. Our 4th of July bakeoff is all wrapped up, and it’s time to offer a big congratulations to Lisa Appleton!

Lisa’s mixed berry shortcakes strike a balance between patriotic and refined. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and whipped cream bring in the colors of the flag. The addition of mascarpone brings luxurious texture and a little sophistication to the party.

Try the recipe below for a picnic friendly red, white, & blue dessert.

Mixed Berry Shortcake Recipe

Serves 8


For the berries:

  • 4 cups mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries, cut-up if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon lemon zest  
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 

For the biscuits: *

  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter/ 1 stick, small diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Turbinado sugar (optional)

For the whipped topping: 

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons powdered sugar**
  1. Macerate the berries:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash and dry the fresh berries. In a medium bowl, combine the mixed berries, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine and set aside to marinate while making the biscuits. 

  1. Make the dough & bake the biscuits:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt. Working quickly, use your fingers to mix the diced butter into the flour mixture until the mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Add the heavy cream and stir with a fork just until combined. The dough will look a bit clumpy, but should stick together if you press it together in your hands. Scoop the dough about 8 mounds (each will be about ¼ cup) on the prepared baking sheet. If clumpy pieces fall apart, it’s okay. Just use your hands to mound it back together. If using, sprinkle the tops with some turbinado sugar. Bake 18 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

  1. Make the whipped cream:

In a separate, clean bowl, combine the heavy cream, mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. Using a whisk or a hand mixer, whisk until soft to stiff peaks form. The peaks should curl at the top. 

  1. Assemble the shortcake:

Place the biscuits on plates or a platter. Top with some macerated berries and some mascarpone whipped cream. If desired, top with a sprinkle of additional turbinado sugar. Enjoy!


The biscuits come together pretty quickly and they’re worth the effort, however, if you want to save some time, you can buy pre-made biscuits at the bakery, or bake a canned biscuit at home. Top canned biscuits with a little turbinado sugar to make them feel extra special. 

**Chef Tip:

Taste the berries before making the whipped cream. If they’re a little tart, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar in the whipped cream will help even that out. If they’re already pretty sweet, 1 tablespoon could be enough.

A Guide to Stone Fruit

Sweet and juicy stone fruits thrive during the summer months. From juicy plums to succulent peaches, here are a few of our favorite ways to cook with stone fruit.

What is a stone fruit? 

You may have guessed this from the name: stone fruits are characterized by large center pits. This includes a lot of our favorite summer fruits like peaches, nectarines, and plums. In addition to pits, stone fruits usually have thin skins, and soft, fleshy fruit. Read on to learn more about our favorite stone fruits, when they’re in season, and how to eat them. 

Types of Stone Fruit 


Peach season kicks in at the end of summer. Find the best peaches from late July through September. 

We love peaches baked into sweet pies, as the base of peach crumble, or starring in savory dishes like Chicken & Spicy Peach Pan Sauce with Sesame-Roasted Broccoli & Jasmine Rice or Seared Chicken in Coconut-Peach Broth with Bok Choy & Jasmine Rice


Plum season is from May to late July depending on the variety. 

Grilled Goat Cheese & Plum Jam Sandwiches with Endive & Marinated Cucumber Salad

Dark purple damson plums are the most popular variety in American supermarkets, but the world of plums has a lot more to offer. From oblong prune plums, to sweet yellow mirabelle plums, there are many varieties available in stores and at farmers markets. Of course plums are excellent in desserts or as a snack, but for an unexpected treat, try this Grilled Goat Cheese & Plum Jam Sandwich.


Pluot season runs from May to August. 

Pluots are a cross between apricots and plums. They’re sometimes called plumcots or apriplum. Much like plums, pluots can be a great accompaniment to seared meats and other savory dishes.  Try using a pluot to make the topping for this Seared Pork Chops & Kamut with Corn, Spinach & Stone Fruit-Cherry Tomato Salsa


Cherries are in season from July to August.

In the U.S., cherries thrive in cooler states like Washington and Oregon. For a decadent dinner, try pairing cherries with a rich meat, like we did in this recipe for Sour Cherry-Glazed Lamb Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Calabrian Chile Yogurt.


Nectarines are in season from April to August. For Chilean nectarines, the season begins in December.

Snow Pea & Nectarine Salad with Grana Padano & Pistachios

To enjoy their natural sweetness, try a simple preparation. Nectarines bring sweet, juicy flavor to a light vibrant salad. We love the salty sweet combination in this Snow Pea & Nectarine Salad with Grana Padano & Pistachios.


There are over 1000 types of mango, and not all are in season at the same time. The bulk are in season over the summer.

Mangoes have a large, thin seed. Mango peel has been known to cause allergic reactions in many people, and may have a bitter taste. The best bet is to discard it. Mangoes are delicious in sweet and savory dishes, including salads and salsas. 

Indian-Style Burgers with Creamy Mango Chutney & Spicy Cucumber

We topped off this burger with a bright mango chutney to add zip to the rich beef patty. In the mood for fruit?

Check out our guide to apple varieties.

Cooking With Fall Seasonal Fruits

cooking with fall seasonal fruits cranberries
Cranberry everything

We love a fresh-baked apple pie as much as the next person, but if you ask us, too many fruits get typecast as dessert. Many fall seasonal fruits can play a delicious role in any course. Cooking with fruit is an easy way to add some sweet and savory intrigue into dinner. Below are three easy ways to use fall fruits in savory foods.

The Best Seasonal Fall Fruits to Cook With

Apple Compote

Stewing apple with lemon and simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water) creates a jammy consistency.

apple compote on turkey
Apple compote on turkey is a perfect fall dinner

2 granny smith apples, cored and small diced
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp water
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Serves: 2
Try with: light meats, like this roasted turkey breast with farro and endive

Cranberry Chutney

Stewed until thick, citrus zest balances the cranberries’ tart juice with fruity oils. Add cardamom and nutmeg for spice.

4 oz fresh cranberries
2 Tbsps sugar
1/4 cup water
Juice and zest of 1 navel orange
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 whole cardamom pod (optional)
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg (optional)
Serves: 2
Try with: soft cheese or these seared pork chops Brussels sprouts and grains

Pickled Grapes

The magic happens off the heat: boil the sugar and liquids, then pour into a heatproof container of grapes.

pickled grapes
Grapes our one of our favorite fall seasonal fruits to cook with

2 oz seedless red grapes, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsps water
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Serves: 2
Try with: mild fish, like this pan-seared cod with pickled grapes and succotash

fish with fall seasonal fruits

Can’t get enough fall fruit? Make a dessert. Try baking these easy fall-friendly apple pie bars.

How to Make Homemade Pear Butter

homemade pear butter on toast
this + a cup of coffee = the perfect fall breakfast

Need something new to spread on your toast on a crisp fall morning? We did—so we developed this luxurious, ultra-delicious homemade pear butter recipe.

Fruit “butters,” like nut butters, are named for their smooth, spreadable consistency. Make this spiced pear butter ahead for about a week’s worth of breakfasts. It’s delicious on toast, but we also like it on oatmeal: stir chopped dark chocolate and toasted hazelnuts into a bowl of plain oats, then top it off with pear butter and more chocolate.

Homemade Spiced Pear Butter

Makes: 1 1/2 cups
Time: 80-90 minutes

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 lbs ripe pears (about 5-6 large pears), peeled, cored, and medium diced
1/4 cup apple (or pear) cider
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Cook the pears:

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the butter on medium until melted. Add the pears, cider, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pears begin to break down. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, 60 to 65 minutes, or until softened and broken down.

pear butter ingredients
Prepared pear cubes

Make the pear puree:

Transfer the cooked pears to a blender. Blend on high until smooth. If you prefer a more rustic texture, you can skip this step and add the spices next.

Cook the pear puree:

Return the pear purée to the same pot. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Place on the stover over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching, 6 to 8 minutes, or until thickened.

homemade pear butter
Cook down for a perfect creamy consistency

14 Apple Varieties to Fall in Love With

Different Types of Apples
A fall bounty

Apples are synonymous with fall. Every September, grocery store aisles fill up with dozens of apple varieties. These are some of the types of apples you’ll find this year, what to expect, and the best ways to use them.


In the past few years, Honeycrisp apples have skyrocketed in popularity. Their crisp white flesh and mild sweetness makes them perfect for eating raw, either whole or sliced and added to salads. Honeycrisp apple season ranges from late August to mid September.  


Fujis are a light pinkish red apple with yellow flesh. This variety was developed at a research center in Fujisaki, Aomori, Japan, and that’s how they got their name. These typically large apples can remain fresh for up to a year. They’re perfect for making sauce or salads. Fuji apples are also good for baking.  

Pink Lady

pink lady apple
Pink lady apple

Pink Lady is the trademarked name for the Cripps Pink apple. This apple variety is both tart and sweet. This tartness makes it a good choice for baking. 


Gala apples are in season from mid-August to September. Their flavor is mildly sweet and juicy. These dark pink apples are perfect for slicing and including in salads.

Granny Smith 

a granny smith apple
Granny Smith apple

Granny Smiths are bright green apples with a firm flesh and a tart flavor. Their lemon-like acidity may make them too tart to eat whole, but these apples will hold their structure well in baked goods and will benefit from the added sugar. 

Red Delicious 

Red delicious apples are known for their bright red skin. These apples are sweet and juicy, with minimal tartness. They are best eaten raw or in salads. Their high-sugar level and soft flesh are not ideal for baking. 

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious apples are a sunny yellow color. These mild and sweet apples are extremely versatile. They’re good for baking, eating, and using in salads.


Cortland apples were developed at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. They’re named for the nearby Cortland County in New York state. Cortland apples are a hybrid of sweet McIntosh apples and hearty Ben Davis apples. The result is a sweet but firm apple perfect for eating raw. 


McIntosh apples are the national apple of Canada. They have green and red skin and white flesh. McIntosh apples are in season in September. These tart and fragrant apples are good for baking or eating raw. 


Jonagold apples were developed in 1953 at Cornell University. This mild fruit is a hybrid of Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples. This crossbreeding led to a large golden-and blush-colored apple with thin skin and a sweet flesh. Jonagold apples are good for slicing or baking. 


an empire apple
Empire apple

Empires apples have a deep red skin and firm, yellowish flesh. They have a sweet and complex flavor. Empire apples are good for eating fresh, making applesauce and serving in salads.


Melrose apples are the official apple of Ohio. Melrose apples are large, with yellowish-green skin and dark red streaks. Melrose apples are perfect to use in pies and for other baking projects. They keep well, and their flavor may actually improve as they’re stored. 


Suncrisp, is a crisp, firm yellow apple with a red blush. Suncrisp apples were developed in New Jersey at Rutgers University. They were developed by cross-breeding Golden Delicious, Cortland, and Cox’s Orange Pippin apples. Suncrisp apples are good for slicing or baking. 


Braeburn apples have bright red skin with some yellow coloring. Their flesh is firm, and they have a sweet and mild flavor. Braeburn apples are good for baking and eating, and will store well. 

Looking for something to bake with all these apples? Try this recipe for homemade apple pie bars.

Recipe: Roasted Chicken with Apples & Fennel


Serves: 4-6

Time: 2.5 hours

Once the weather cools down enough to turn on the oven, it’s time for roasted chicken. If you learn how to roast a chicken, you’ll have the Sunday dinner menu locked down for rest of your life. A perfect roasted chicken makes everyone happy. Health nuts and meat-lovers agree that it hits the spot. This recipe incorporates roasted apples and baking spices for a hearty meal that brings together all the best flavors of fall.

  • 1½ Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken (~4½ lbs)
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 4 apples, quartered (Pink Lady, Empire, or Granny Smith work best)
  • 1 head of fennel, cut into 1” wedges

1. In a bowl, combine the salt, pepper, allspice cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, lemon zest, and garlic. Stir in 3TB of the olive oil until combined. Rub the mixture all over the chicken (including inside the cavity). Place the thyme and rosemary sprigs inside the cavity. Transfer to a baking sheet and let rest in the fridge, uncovered, for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until browned. 

3. Remove the sheet from the oven and scatter the apples and fennel around the chicken. Drizzle with the lemon juice and remaining olive oil and return to the oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is browned and cooked through.

4. Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. Transfer the roasted apples and fennel to a serving dish, and top with the carved chicken.

Can’t get enough fall flavor? Check out the Blue Apron menu for squash, apples, persimmons, and more. 

Amanda Freitag’s Go-To After Work Paloma Recipe

Palomas are everything: sweet, sour, simple, and beautiful. Whether you’re looking for a way to unwind after work, or a simple sipper to enjoy while you’re cooking, this three(ish) ingredient cocktail is the way to go. 

Amanda Freitag Paloma Recipe
A pretty paloma

This recipe comes from chef Amanda Freitag, who loves palomas for their no-fuss charm. When making this at home, try chef Amanda’s trick for a low-effort, high-impact garnish. Cut a paper-thin slice of grapefruit and tuck it against the inside of the glass. Even though this is easy to make, it’s so beautiful that it will wow your cocktail companion. 

Amanda Freitag’s Favorite Paloma Recipe

Makes 2 cocktails 

  • 4 oz Tequila
  • 1 Cup grapefruit juice (bonus points for fresh-squeezed)
  • 1 17 oz  bottle of sparkling water or grapefruit soda
  • 1 slice lime for garnish 
  • 1 thin slice grapefruit, for garnish 
  • Pinch of salt (optional) 

1. To make, pour the Tequila, grapefruit juice, and sparkling water in a pitcher. Add a pinch of salt if you desire, there’s plenty of room to riff. Stir to combine. 

2. Thinly slice a round of grapefruit and line your serving glass with it. Pour the cocktail over ice, perch a slice of lime on the edge of the glass, and enjoy. 

Want more Amanda Freitag? Learn more about her favorite ingredients here

An Apple Bourbon Cocktail for a Sweet New Year

Apple honey bourbon cocktail

Apples and honey are traditional food symbols of Rosh Hashanah in the Ashkenazic Jewish tradition. The apples are a celebration of the recent harvest, and the honey is a symbol of hope for a sweet new year; the two are enjoyed together as an acknowledgement of the full cycle of the year. 

This recipe is based on a cocktail that John Adler, Blue Apron’s head chef, created with the former head bartender during his time at Franny’s. One day, John came to work with two cases of crab apples. One case went to the kitchen, the second went to the bar. The bartender thought for a second and said “let’s bury them in bourbon!”

Apple bourbon is incredibly versatile. It’s delicious in this recipe, and also works well for a seasonal twist on a manhattan (in place of rye), added to a hot toddy, on the rocks, or mixed with lemon and ginger for a fun play on a Gold Rush. If you can’t find crab apples, try making yours with Granny Smith apples. If you love the sound of the cocktail, but don’t have the patience to infuse your own bourbon, try decreasing the bourbon by .5 oz, and adding in 1 oz apple cider. Chef John’s take incorporates cardamom, which pairs beautifully with the spice of the bourbon and the sweetness of the apples. 

For the Apple Bourbon

  • 2 ½  pounds crab apples (or Granny Smith apples), washed and cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 gala or Honeycrisp apples, washed and thinly sliced 
  • 2 Cups bourbon
  • 2 lemons, washed and peeled (peels reserved)

Combine the apples, bourbon and lemon peels in a tightly lidded jar. Store upside down (to prevent oxidation) for five days. Strain, discarding apples and lemon zest, and store in the fridge.

For the Honey Cardamom Syrup

  • ½ Cup honey
  • ½ Cup water
  • 3 fresh cardamom pods

Combine the ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat you want it to come up slowly to maximize the time the cardamom infuses. Strain out the cardamom pods, cool and store in the fridge.

For the Cocktail 

Serves 2

  • 5 ounces Apple Bourbon
  • 1 ounce bitter liqueur (Meletti Amaro, Montenegro Amaro, Campari)
  • 1 teaspoon honey-cardamom syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cocktail glasses (chilled in fridge)
  • 2 thin slices of gala apple

Fill a cocktail shaker 2/3 of the way with ice. Add the bourbon, bitters, honey-cardamom syrup and lemon juice. Stir for 20 seconds and then strain into the chilled cocktail glasses. Garnish the rim of the glass with the apple wedges and toast to a sweet and delicious new year!