You could be talking about some apples that aren't really new, since recent leaves a wider possibility of how to define it. Recent could be the past two days, or the last weeks, or maybe even months and years, depending on how 'big' your spectrum of time is, while 'new' generally is not a while ago, but you got them just now, or some short while before. I hope that makes sense.
Sorry but i couldnt agree less . You can use the words pretty much interchangably in english. You can say 'the new apples' in comparison with the older apples .Hell even the word for recent current events is ' the news' . But you just would not say 'the recent apples' . We shouldnt forget that translation is sometimes an effort to find equivalency more than anything...
I don't know. While I think you can use new and recent interchangeably quite often, I think there could be a slight difference in certain contexts. For example, the bar I frequent has a selection of beer on tap that completely changes every week. I noted the other day that the recent beers on tap have been quite heavy and dark (as opposed to those in the summer). I probably wouldn't have said "new beers" because that would imply just the beers from the most recent changeover. Using the word "recent" indicates a more broader, less immediate, time frame: the last couple of weeks, perhaps the last couple of months. Also it can indicate a changed aspect about something occurring regularly ("the summer selections were easy to drink, the recent ones, though...").
While the apple sentence is silly, I can imagine someone who regularly gets a shipment of apples (a baker? a chef? a teacher? who knows), might complain that the last few shipments had sad little apples. In this case, "recent" might be a slightly more nuanced word than "new", to indicate the last few shipments haven't been up to snuff. Once again, this scenario might be relatively rare, but I think "recent" can have its own specific place.