How to Choose the Best Apples for Baking Apple Pie

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What are the Best Apples for Baking Apple Pie? When I first took a REAL interest in making and baking pie, I started with learning my mother’s apple pie recipe, passed down from generation after generation. I knew that she ALWAYS used those deep green, Granny Smith apples, so as far as I was concerned, that was THE apple of choice for all apple pie. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

best apples for baking apple pie

It wasn’t until I truly walked through a produce section in the supermarket and really took the time to peruse through the multitude of apple types. The dizzying array of colors and names enough to overwhelm any aspiring baker if you don’t know what you’re looking for…or what you SHOULD be looking for?

When looking for the best apples to bake apple pie with, understand that not every apple type is good to bake apple pie with.

Best Apples for Baking Apple Pie

Apple TypeFlavorTextureBest Uses
Red Deliciousbest apples for bakingVery sweetGets MUSHY when cooked. Skin is thick & BitterJust for eating as is, for a snack. Not good for baking with.
McIntosh Apple
McIntosh apple
Sweet & mildly tartTender yet slightly 'grainy'Best used for making apple sauce or eating out of hand
Braeburn Apple
best apples for baking
Very sweet & mildly tart (like a Granny Smith)Quite crispBest used for making pies, tarts, apple sauce, just plain eating
Rome Apple
rome apple
Not very sweetthick skin and fairly firm 'flesh'Best used for apple sauce
Fuji Apple
fuji apple
Very sweet w/great tasteCrisp with a pear-like textureBest for eating out of hand
Golden Delicious
golden delicious
Both sweet and tartCrisp when fresh. Softens when bakedGreat for pies, apple sauce and 'apple butter'
Cortland Apples
cortland apple
Both sweeter and more tart than McIntosh w/mild flavorTender and slightly grainApple sauce or eating out of hand.
Empire
empire apple
Very sweet and very tart with a good level of juicinessFirm & crunchyBest to eat our of hand
Gala Apple
gala apples
Both Mild & sweet with a good amount of tartnessthin-skin with a grainy textureBest to eat out of hand
Granny Smith
granny smith apples
Very tartFirm, crunchy, and slightly grainy. Best used for making pies and eating out of hand

Can You Mix apples When Baking Apple Pie?

When looking at the best apples for baking apple pie, the question often comes up, can I MIX different types of apples in any given apple pie? The answer is an absolute ‘YES’ however this may take some trial and error and trying out different things.

I personally, prefer to use only one type of apple when baking apple pie, but by no means, let that hinder you from trying out something new and potentially magnificent?! For instance, you can try combining granny smith’s (very tart) with someone sweet like a Braeburn (sweet) in your apple pie recipe? The tartness of the Granny Smith’s might go well with Braeburn’s and you probably wouldn’t have to add much more sugar since the Braeburn’s are naturally sweet?

Just takes some experimentation and exploration. something WE ALL LOVE to do anyways, right?

Apple Tools That Could Come in Handy

apple peelerKitchenAid KSM1APC Spiralizer Attachment with Peel, Core & Slice
Reinvent classic meals and inspire your culinary creativity with the versatile KitchenAid spiralizer with peel, core and slice stand mixer attachment.
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availability
apple peelerCast Magnesium Apple/Potato Peeler by Spiralizer
CAST MAGNESIUM APPLE PEELER by Spiralizer, Durable Heavy Duty Die Cast Magnesium Alloy Apple Slicer, Corer, Peeler
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availability
best apples for baking apple piePrepworks by Progressive Thin Apple Slicer and Corer
The Thin Apple Slicer from prep works is a quick and safe way to easily core and slice an apple.
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availability

Have some input on apples you’ve used for baking apple pie NOT on this list? Please let me and the other readers know in the comments below!

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