The best apples for apple pie

If you’re looking for the best apples for apple pie and you don’t want to dig too deep, go ahead and pick up a bag of Granny Smiths. They’re everyone’s go-to apples for baking (mine included) because they’re tart and firm, keeping their shape while providing a perfect balance to the sweet ingredients.

That said, they’re certainly not the only option. There are a ton of different types of apples, and they all have a different flavor profile. Some are sweet while others are tart, and their textures can vary from crisp to mealy. How do you know which ones will hold up well after a stint in a hot oven? Pick from one of our favorites below.

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Best things to make with apples
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Best things to make with apples

Mornings just got a whole lot more delicious with this Cinnamon apple on hot cereal recipe. Hello warmth in the fall!

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When it comes to a gathering with friends or family, this Apple pie recipe is your perfect dessert go-to.

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Satisfy your sweeth tooth with Caramelized apples topped with peanuts and sprinkles galore.

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We love this Apple cider donuts recipe -- perfect for a quick, sweet snack or a family dessert.

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Looking for something healthy and yummy? This Fennel and apple salad is perfect!

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For something light, yet savory -- choose this Apple salad with raisins and blue cheese recipe as your lunch or dinner meal.

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If you love rice, apples and pudding, this Cinnamon apple slices with rice pudding recipe will make your entire life.

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Can you say mouthwatering? This Apple Dumplings recipe is too good to be true!

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This Apple cake sweet food recipe is the epitome of fall treats! Serve this while entertaining to wow your friends and family.

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This adorable Apple pie muffins recipe is just the right amount to fill you and your significant other up for dessert after a romantic dinner.

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Looking for something sweet and savory this fall? This Apple strudel recipe is everything you need and more.

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Braeburn

If you’re looking for a good balance between sweet and tart, Braeburn is an excellent choice. It has a very concentrated apple flavor that becomes more pronounced when it’s baked. Add the fact that it naturally contains cinnamon and nutmeg-like flavors, and this New Zealand apple is a no-brainer to use in apple pie. It doesn’t hurt that it has a super crisp, firm texture that doesn’t lose its form as it bakes, either.

Cortland

Unlike most apples, Cortlands don’t turn brown after they’re sliced, so you don’t have to worry about storing them in water while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Although, you can keep any apple fresh with this hack to keep apples from browning. That said, you’ll want to use these New York-grown apples soon after they’re harvested because their super sweet, slightly tart flavor fades quickly. This McIntosh variety is extra juicy and has a crisp texture, making it perfect for something like Mom’s Fried Apples.

Golden Delicious

These bright yellow apples certainly don’t stand out as an eating apple; they have a mealy texture and a not-too-sweet, not-too-tart flavor. The heat of the oven coaxes out their sweetness, though, and they take on honeyed notes. Golden Delicious will break down and lose their shape more than some of the apples on this list, so don’t reach for these if you’re hoping for firm chunks of apples. They’re absolutely perfect in softer recipes like custard apple pie.

Granny Smith

If you ask most chefs about their go-to baking apple, this one will be it. Granny Smiths are available year-round, and you’ll immediately recognize them by their bright green skin and extra tart flavor. The high acidity contributes to the apple’s flavor as well as its ability to hold together as it bakes. If you like the texture but want a sweeter filling, try blending them with some of the sweeter apples on this list. Skip buying apples from the store and use up what you pick yourself from the best place to go apple picking in your state.

Jonagold

This apple is a cross between a Jonathan and Golden Delicious, giving it an appealing greenish-yellow color with red splotches. It has the same honeyed flavor as Golden Delicious, but it’s sweeter with a bolder, more puckery finish. The firm-fleshed, crisp, acidic apple is a great choice for slow-cooked apple desserts, like this Apple Comfort recipe.

Honeycrisp

These are one of our favorite snacking apples because they’re so intensely sweet. They have become wildly popular in the last few years, driving up the price tag, but they’re worth it. When baked, they don’t break down too much but their sweet flavor intensifies, becoming fun and complex. That’s why we use them in this wow-worthy apple pie recipe.

McIntosh

McIntosh is a classic apple with bright red with green splotches. The early harvests tend to be more acidic, while late-season McIntosh apples are sweeter and juicier. They have an incredible warming spice flavor, but they do tend to break down as they cook. That makes them the ideal sweet apple to pair with something tart (like Granny Smith) for pies and baked goods. It turns out that none of the ingredients in apple pie—yes, including apples—are native to the United States. This is how apple pie became America’s favorite dessert anyway. Don’t be afraid to blend a few of these apples together, marrying tart apples with sweeter ones to create a flavor profile that’s unique to your kitchen.

The post The Best Apples for Apple Pie appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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Pie recipes
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Pie recipes

S'more Pie

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Sweet Cherry Hand Pies 

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Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie

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Maple Pecan Pie

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Doughy Blueberry Pie 

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Apple Raisin Pies In Jars

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Fudge Bottom Candy Crunch Pie

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Triple Berry Crumble Pie

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Lemon Ice Box Pie

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5-Spice Sweet Potato Pie 

Get the recipe here.

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