What's the best apple for making pie? I don't want mushy apples!
Granny Smiths are classic and tasty!
Granny Smiths have only become "classic" in the past 10 years. before that they were not around very widely. They are native to New Zealand.
Personally I don't care for pies made with them. I find those apples too tart and too hard. I prefer Cortland, Golden Delicious, Gala, HoneyCrisp. all of these apples taste better to me on their own, and thus produce a tastier pie (that needs less sugar added!)
Virtually any apple in the market will make you a good pie EXCEPT for Red Delicious, which are way too mealy to start witn.
My mom always used MacIntoshes. Most folks say they're too watery, but her pies were always exemplary!
I would use a Gala instead of G-Smith. Stay away from Macintosh and Delicious.
I agree with ChefJune on Granny Smiths--I've never thought they deserved a reputation as a good baking apple,. They certainly do keep their shape, and that may be what you are going for. For me, unless I'm picking the apples in my back yard or somewhere else with limited variety, I try for a mix of some apples that hold their shapes and some that don't. So a Macintosh or two can find its way into the mix, even though bigpan would be right in not making an all-Mac pie. Especially not you, since you're avoiding mush!
MITZU. These are large green, juicy, sweet apples that come in in October in the northeast. They cook up well, peel easily and taste divine in apple pies. You do not need to add lots of sugar, but do add a bit of flour or tapioca for the juices. Once you try them you will be hooked.
I am lucky enough to live in New England where I go to the orchard and ask what's currently available and best for cooking. Some apples (like macs) fall apart when baked so they are best for sauce, and some are too tart or too sweet depending on your taste and how much sugar is in the recipe. Talk to your farmer or grocer and tell them what you like, they will be able to help you choose the best one.
I think the best answer is: a mix. Macs turn mushy, but a few are nice for flavor. Northern Spies are great and anything but mushy but are hard to find. I like Idareds mixed with, oh, Cortlands, Baldwins, Pink Ladies, Honey Sweets, Galas, Wealthys, Empires, etc.. The idea is to use what you can find that's fresh. The only apple I would never use is the wretched Red Delicious.