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Best apples for pie, other than Grannies?

asked by SpecialSka over 6 years ago
14 answers 1253 views
79ca7fa3 11e3 4829 beae d200649eab49  walken the walk

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 6 years ago

Pink Lady would be my favorite variety.

22b9ddc9 fc61 48a3 949e dee341974288  liz and dad
added over 6 years ago

My favs for pie r empire, goldens, grannys. A trio of diff. textures/sweetness/flavors all in one pie.

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added over 6 years ago

GRAVENSTEINS are the best apple for pie. When they are in season they don't travel well so it is very hard to find them. But if you can...wow! They grow a lot in a little area of Sonoma County called Sebastopol which used to be covered with orchards. But, unfortunately that area has become a big grape growing region and a lot of the orchards have been ripped out to plant grapes which belong the the Russian River AVA.

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added over 6 years ago

Honeycrisps are a delicious alternative. They are sweet and crunchy. I often eat them before they are able to make it into my pie.

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added over 6 years ago

I much prefer a really tart apple for baking. In the UK we used to get all kinds of interesting varieties at the farmers' market. My usual favorite for baking were Braeburns, which I could find even at the supermarket. I just think grannies and goldens are too blandly sweet for baking.

In the UK they do sell 'cooking apples', which are Bramleys, but they have this magic quality of turning to mush when you cook them. Great for applesauce, but not so good for pies...as I discovered through experience.

D6706402 eb96 499d a671 b2e90db25df9  bike2
added over 6 years ago

I have to say that I still like Macs for pie because of their flavor. I cook them so they maintain the shape of the slices and not longer. A friend just gave me a slew of heirloom Roxbury Russets and Baldwins which I will be testing out.

Bc343245 99fb 4d2b 8579 9bf9c485181e  me
added over 6 years ago

I like to use a variety of apples in a pie - or at least 2 different apples. It provides some nice texture contrasts and flavor depth. Granny Smiths are a drier, hard apple, so mixing them with a juicier apple like Honey Crisp or a harder apple like Pink Lady or a softer apple like Fuji or Empire can be a good way to go. I think of Gravenstein's as being one of the softest apples, making them great for applesauce. I think of softer apples that don't hold their shape quite as well as Fuji, Empire, Macs and Gravensteins. Harder apples that will more easily hold their shape in cooking are Grannies, Pippin, Golden Delicious, Honey Crisp, Johnny Golds. Hardest are Pink Lady and Black Arkansas. Pink Ladies, if you can find them, are really wonderful.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

Regardless of what your favorite apple is, a variety of apples in a pie will make for a more interesting and well-rounded taste. ChezSuzanne is right on.

73cd846c b69c 41fe 8f8b 7a3aa8dd3b93  desert
added over 6 years ago

What ever ones come off a tree and I don't have to pay for. I like the idea of a variety though!

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

thanks, guys! what a terrific resource!

B3038408 42c1 4c18 b002 8441bee13ed3  new years kitchen hlc only

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 6 years ago

I'm totally with pierino and ChezSuzanne on the Pink Ladies. Especially a local one that's been picked in the last few days. Now that's what an apple should taste and smell like. I am crazy about Mutsus (aka Crispins), too. They are a bit tart, and hold their shape really well, and have exactly the right amount of juice when baked . . . . but they tend to be huge, so they require more attention and thought when cutting for cooking. But they are wonderful, both out of hand and in the pie. ;o)

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added over 6 years ago

Idareds. Northern Spies. Cortlands.

67da29df 0253 44dd 98a1 250b49e519a4  hilary sp1
added over 6 years ago

I love northern spies, cortland, winesaps, and rome beauty.

I've used Golden and Roxbury Russets, too. But I think they make better applesauce than pies.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

Growing up on an apple orchard in Ohio, we tell customers to use every type they can get their hands on except red delicious. (Red delicious will turn grainy and mushy if you try to cook with them.) Just cut big, thick slices of softer apples, and smaller slimmer slices of firm hard apples.

My ideal pie would have Northern Spy, Jonalicious, Grimes Golden, Haralson, McIntosh, and Cox's Orange Pippen...

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