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Finding the Perfect Apple for Your Pie

Finding the Perfect Apple for Your Pie

When making pies, choose an apple with good flavor and a firm texture that holds up well when baked. Find apples that are firm, with no blemishes or bruises, and that feel heavy for their size. To make one 9-inch pie you will need about eight or nine medium-sized apples, or approximately 3 pounds.

These apples sometimes have a short shelf life but the flavors can be quite enticing. Some of the best pies include a combination of apple varieties, so mix and match apple types to suit your taste.

When making pies, choose an apple with good good flavor and a firm texture that holds up well when baked.

Apple Varieties

Apple Varieties Cortland: The Cortland is juicy, slightly tart, works great in double-crust pies, cobblers, and crisps.

Golden Delicious: The Golden Delicious is sweet, with a rich, mellow flavor.

Jonathan: The Jonathan is moderately tart, with a rich, slightly spicy apple flavor and holds its shape well. Try in open-faced tarts and pies.

McIntosh: The juicy and crisp McIntosh tends to break down when cooked, so it's best suited for double-crust pies, cobblers, and crisps.

Rome Beauty: The Rome Beauty is one of the best baking apples. It is a richly flavored hard apple. Perfect for all kinds of baking.

Baldwin: The Baldwin is a bit of a tart apple that has just a touch of sweetness. It is good for all-purpose cooking with apples.

Northern Spy: Firm and sweetly tart, the Northern Spy is especially suited for open-faced pies and tarts.

Granny Smith: One of the most popular apples used in baking and cooking. The Granny Smith is tart and crisp. Makes a good all-purpose cooking apple.

Winesap: The Winesap is very firm and aromatic, with a spicy bite. Tart and sweet flavors meld quite well in this apple.

Jonagold: A blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples, offering a unique tangy-sweet flavor. With a yellow-green base and a blush stripe, Jonagold is excellent both for eating fresh and for cooking.

Arkansas Black: A medium to large apple with a deep purplish color. Firm, coarse texture and good flavor. This apple is good in sauce, pies and baking.

Ida Red: Ida is a cross of the Jonathan and Wagener varieties. Bright red with a distinctive tangy and tart Jonathan-like flavor, the Ida is bigger than the Jonathan and keeps its shape during baking.

Empire: A red, medium sized McIntosh-type fruit; firm-textured and slightly tart. This apple is a fine all-purpose apple good for sauce, pies, baking, and salads. Fresh eating and freezing.

Liberty: The Liberty is a small to medium sized McIntosh type also. It is tart with a coarse texture and red over green color. It is good for sauces, pies, baking and freezing.

Mutsu (Crispin): This large, yellow-green fruit is very juicy and has a mostly sweet flavor. It is great for fresh eating, salads, freezing, sauce, pies and baking.

Ozark Gold: The Ozark Gold is a large, yellow fruit resistant and fine for fresh, baking in pies and cakes and making sauce.

Spartan: Also a McIntosh type, the Spartan is a semi-firm, medium-sized, dark red fruit. It has an aromatic, fine flavor and is well suited to a sauce, pies and baking as well as fresh eating.

York: Firm, crispy and juicy, the shiny red York has a firm texture that makes it a good candidate for baking. This apple is good in cakes and pies as well.

The following varieties are better suited for making applesauce or eating raw.

Fuji: Its spicy, crisp sweetness makes it excellent out of hand or as applesauce.

Gala: Has a similar shape to the Fuji, but a more polished look. Although the skin may be thicker and more leathery than that of the Fuji, the flesh is just as inviting. Heart-shaped and medium sized, the Gala has a distinctive yellow-orange skin with red striping. Great for salads or as an 'out-of-hand' snack! This apple has a crispy, sweet taste.

Braeburn: High impact flavor. The sweet, crisp, aromatic Braeburn blends sweetness and tartness just right for snacks and salads. Its color varies from greenish-gold with red sections to nearly solid red.

Red Delicious: America's favorite apple, right up there with baseball and hot dogs for all-American popularity. A five star snacking apple. This apple is mild-flavored, sweet and juicy. Red Delicious has a deep ruby skin and a classic heart shape.

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