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A Shopping List of The Best Baking Apples

Basket of a Variety of Apples Surprised by the vast selection of apples at the supermarket? If you are a seasoned baker, you know which type of apple you like to put into your pies and homemade treats. Unfortunately - for the occasional baker - picking the right variety can be confusing; possibly even stressful if you volunteered to bake the apple pie for a holiday dinner or party and don't have a clue which apple to pick (no pun intended!).

The right ingredients help any cook achieve success in the kitchen. In this case, the wrong apple can make your magnificent looking pre-baked pie turn into a mushy mess. Avoid wasting time, money, and a last minute dash to the bakery by selecting the correct apple for your recipe.

To help you choose the best apple for your baking needs, here is a quick and easy shopping list for your next trip to the market:

  • Cameo: baking, cooking; sweet flavor; also an eating apple
  • Cortland: baking, sauces; juicy, slightly tart & sweet flavor; use in whole/stuffed baked apple recipes (bonus: doesn't turn brown as quickly as other apples which makes them perfect for a fruit and cheese platter)
  • Fuji: baking; firm texture, very sweet flavor; I used Fujis in the Here We Are recipe Grilled Salmon: Fast, Healthy, and Easy with Apples & Ginger or Kiwi & Orange Topping because of the high heat
  • Golden Delicious: baking, cooking; sweet mellow flavor; maintains shape well after baking, also good cubed in salads (as are Gala apples)
  • Granny Smith: baking, cooking; crisp, tart & sweet; maintains shape, great for pies, also an eating apple
  • Honeycrisp: baking, caramelizing; crisp, juicy sweet flavor; perfect for tartes or delicate desserts
  • Jonagold: baking, sautéing; honey sweet; also good for eating out of hand
  • Macoun: baking; firm texture, sweet flavor; also an eating apple (pronounced "McCowan"); I used Macouns (and Fuji apples) in the EASY Apple Tart Recipe
  • Pink Lady: baking, grating; slightly sweet and a bit tart flavor; perfect for muffins and cakes
  • Red Rome: baking, cooking; slightly tart flavor; use in whole/stuffed baked apple recipes; AKA Rome Beauty
  • Sweet Tango: baking, cooking, combined with other fresh fruit, eating out of hand; sweet and delicious tasting epitomizing what an apple should taste like!

The WORST apple for BAKING is McIntosh and Red Delicious: While both taste great out of hand, these two will turn into mushy apples in your recipe!

There are thousands of apple varieties in the world. These particular apples made the HWA list because they are readily available in most markets at this time of year. Do you have a favorite apple for baking? Share it with us.

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Luci Weston

@Bose: Thx! Gala is a better "eating" apple than it is for baking, although I have seen recipes that call for them. They are best used in salads, or thinly sliced for layering on a sandwich.

@Bill: Thanks for sharing this article! Much appreciated.

@All: Anyone use "Gala" apples for baking? Good or bad?


Great list. Thanks. Not sure about for baking but my favorite eating apple is definitely Gala.

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