Fall is the perfect time to enjoy baking. There’s nothing like a warm, scented oven on a crisp autumn day. It’s apple season, and it’s fun to use these bright, tasty fruits in as many delicious ways as possible.
Pick the Best Apple for Your RecipeRead More »
When make an apple recipe, decide if you want more sweetness or tartness in each dish. On the far sweet end, you have Honeycrisps. On the tart end, Granny Smiths have a sharp flavor and dense texture that can stand up to most baking. Some cooks like to use a combination of sweet, tart and everything in between.
Best Apples for Baking
The best apple variety for desserts and savory dishes is firm enough to stand up to long, high heat. A softer apple will fall apart under long cooking but is ideal for making applesauce or cider.
If you prefer a tart, crisp flavor, choose one of these.
- Braeburn: These crisp, bright red fruits have a bright, well-balanced flavor.
- Cortland: Cortlands are juicy with a delicate texture and a touch of tartness.
- Granny Smith: Granny Smiths are firm, crisp apples. They’re the least sweet, most tart variety.
- Winesap: Tart heirloom Winesaps have a deep, complex flavor.
If you prefer a sweet apple flavor, select these varieties.
- Gala: This popular variety has a sweet, bright flavor. Galas work in almost any recipe.
- Golden Delicious: This yellow, easy-to-eat variety has dense texture and mild flavor.
- Fuji: Fujis have a slightly spicy flavor. They are softer than the others listed here, so don’t subject them to long cooking times.
- Honeycrisp: Large, red and gold Honeycrisps are known for their crispness and sweet flavor. They can be more expensive than other varieties.
- Jazz: Juicy, sweet Jazzes are a good choice in almost any recipe.
- Jonagold: This large golden apple has just a touch of tartness.
- Pink Lady or Cripps Pink: This pale red apple is firm. It has a long shelf life and a firm texture.
Best Apple for Sauces, Ciders and Apple Butters
These varieties have well-balanced flavors that make delicious cider, butter and applesauce. You can combine sweet and tart varieties to get the exact flavor you like.
- Golden Delicious.
- Jonathan: Jonathans have a nice balance of sweetness and sharpness.
- McIntosh: The McIntosh is an heirloom apple that has become popular for its strong flavor. Its soft texture makes it ideal for making applesauce or cider.
What’s the Best Apple for Snacking?
Any apple is good for snacking, and your choice depends on your personal preferences. Galas and Honeycrisps are the most popular varieties in the US. Many people love their mild, sweet taste and crisp texture. Other people love the sharp snap of a Granny Smith. We recommend trying them all.
Keep Apple Slices From Turning Brown
Are you turned off by apple slices that turn brown? This happens because of oxidation, a natural process that affects sliced bananas, pears and other fruits. It’s a problem when you’re serving a sliced apple in a salad or on a fruit and cheese tray.
The good news is you can prevent it. There are two methods that work well.
Salt water: Add half a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water in a bowl. Soak the apple slices in this solution for 10 minutes. Rinse them with plain water to remove the salt flavor. Pat dry with clean paper towels.
Lemon juice: Add half a teaspoon of lemon juice to a cup of plain water. Soak the apple slices for 10 minutes, rinse and pat dry.
- Don’t soak for more than 10 minutes. Your apple slices will get mushy.
- Rinsing will remove all the salt flavor.
- Even after rinsing, the slices soaked in lemon will have a slight lemon flavor.
Get Cooking With a Great Apple Recipe
We’ve rounded up some great ways to celebrate apple season.
Classic autumn flavors feature cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. When you make ciders, sauces and pies, be sure to include these spices to fill your house with wonderful aromas. The following dishes taste as wonderful as they smell.
Caramel Apple Cake
This gorgeous cake looks as wonderful as it tastes. You top the cake with apple slices and drizzle the whole thing in a sauce made with apple brandy and caramel. The rich buttermilk cake is smooth and moist. The recipe author recommends using McIntoshes in this dessert.
Sausage and Apple Frittata With Dill
This hearty breakfast or brunch dish uses the sharpness of apple to offset the spiciness of sausage. It’s a wonderful combination that puts a tangy twist on a traditional dish. Chef Kay Chun recommends using Granny Smiths in this recipe.
Cast Iron Apple-Blackberry Crumble With Sour Cream Whip
A fresh twist on traditional apple crumble adds blackberries, another seasonal favorite, to create a delectable dessert. This recipe uses cardamom, cinnamon and brown sugar to capture the essence of autumn. It is easy to make in a skillet.
Apple Bavarian Cheesecake
Make this easy cheesecake in a pie pan instead of a springform pan. It’s an amazing blend of two favorite dessert flavors. Almonds, vanilla and cream cheese add to the creamy texture and taste. You can use any apple in this recipe.
Roast Pork Loin With Apple and Onions
Tart, slightly sweet apple is the perfect counterpoint to pork’s rich flavors. Roasting caramelizes the onions. The blend of flavors makes this the perfect fall dinner. It’s easy enough to make even on a busy weeknight.
Celebrate the Season
Apples will elevate your autumn cooking and fill your kitchen with tantalizing, fragrant treats. Enjoy cooking with them all season long.