What are Good Apples for Pie? – Best Baking Apples

There’s nothing quite as warm and inviting as a homemade apple pie. Whether you’re baking this tasty dessert for a special occasion, a holiday celebration or just because, one of the most important steps in the process is picking out which apples to use. You’ll want a balance of sweet and tart flavors to create a pie that’s undeniably delicious. Check out this guide to the best apples for pie to find out which varieties are best for baking purposes.

Best Baking Apples

Choosing the apples for your pie involves thinking about the taste and texture you prefer. Take a look at these top choices for baking apples:

  • Honeycrisp: As one of the most prized apples around, it’s no surprise that Honeycrisps are popular for baking. This juicy and crisp apple is best for those who like a sweeter taste for their pies. Note that this type of apple is only available in the fall.

  • Granny Smith: Prefer a tarter taste for your apple pies? Go with Granny Smith apples. Known for its vibrant green color, this apple is tangy and tart and features firm flesh that won’t get too mushy when cooked down.

  • Braeburn: For a sweeter take on the spicy apple flavor, choose Braeburns for baking your pie. This apple variety stores better than many other sweet varieties of apples.

  • Jonathan Apples: These red apples have an iconic look that’s just as classic as apple pie itself. Grown primarily in Midwestern states, Jonathan apples have a tart, tangy flavor. For a variety with a slightly sweeter taste, go with Jonagolds, which are a mix of the Jonathan and Golden Delicious apple varieties.

  • Golden Delicious: If you prefer a sweeter, softer pie, Golden Delicious apples are the way to go. This variety is so sweet that many bakers actually use less sugar in their recipe when baking with Golden Delicious apples.

  • Gala: If you want extra sweetness without the soft texture, choose Gala apples for your pie. As with Golden Delicious apples, bakers sometimes reduce the sugar in their recipes due to this variety’s extra-sweet flavor. However, Galas have a crisper texture compared to Golden Delicious apples that result in a firmer pie filling

  • Eckert Family Favorite: Use a combination of three Golden Delicious apples plus one Jonathan apple for the most delicious apple pie out there – the sweet and tart combination makes this pie a crowd-pleaser.

Where to Get Apples for Pie

Before you head to the supermarket to pick out apples for your pie, consider checking out a local orchard like Eckert’s Farm. Fresh-picked apples often produce the best apple pies because they haven’t been sitting in storage for long periods of time. This causes their cell structure to weaken over time, so when you bake them, they quickly become mushy or mealy. Getting apples in season produces pies with the best flavor and texture, especially when you pick them directly from a local orchard.

Find a number of popular baking apple varieties, including Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold and more, when you stop by our orchards at Eckert’s Farm. We invite kids and adults alike to pick from our orchards every fall.


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