Ever have an apple pie that had a flakey buttery crust on the outside but was apple mush inside? Well, that is probably due to the fact that the pie was made with apples that tasted great but weren’t meant for baking. All apples come from trees, but not all apples are created equally.
There are several varieties of apples that are sold in the US and knowing which ones to use is the perfect route to success every time. But who wants to do all the research? Luckily for you, I grew up in New England. That in itself is not a big deal, but it does give me a little heads up on what apples are best for each dish. It’s kind of drilled into our heads at birth. Okay, maybe not really, but after going to apple orchards year after year for school field trips and family fun, i did pick up a thing or two about apples.
It never dawned on me that there are people in the world who have no idea what apples are good for baking, sauces, and just fresh from the tree. So I have compiled a list of apples that are commonly sold around the US and what dishes they work best in. But nothing beats eating the apples straight off the trees while picking them.
|Name||Best Use||Flavor & Appearance|
|Braeburn||Applesauce||Tart, sweet, aromatic, tall shape, bright color|
|Cortland||Pies, Applesauce, Fruit Salad||Tart, crisp, larger than ‘McIntosh’|
|Fuji||Baking||Sweet and juicy, firm, red skin|
|Gala||Dried, Cider||Mild, sweet, juicy, crisp, yellow-orange skin with red striping (resembles a peach)|
|Granny Smith||Baking||Moderately sweet, crisp flesh, green skin|
|Jonagold||Pie, Applesauce||Tangy-sweet, Yellow top, red bottom|
|Jonathan||Applesauce||Tart flesh, crisp, juicy, bright red on yellow skin|
|McIntosh||Applesauce||Juicy, sweet, pinkish-white flesh, red skin|
|Newtown Pippin||Pie, Applesauce, Cider||Sweet-tart flesh, crisp, greenish-yellow skin|
|Rhode Island Greening||Pie||Very tart, distinctively flavored, grass-green skin, tending toward yellow/orange|
|Rome Beauty||Baking, Cider||Mildly tart, crisp, greenish-white flesh, thick skin|
|Winesap||Applesauce, Pie, Cider||Very juicy, sweet-sour flavor, winey, aromatic, sturdy, red skin|
Now my favorites for eating fresh off the vine have to be Pink Lady, Cortland, and McIntosh. It might be my childhood memories of apple picking, but there is nothing quite like the taste of apples fresh off the tree.
So what are you waiting for? Get out to your local orchard or head to the store and start making those apple baking memories with the kids. Either way you are making memories that will last a lifetime.