There are apples all over the place, meaning autumn is officially here (well, kind of officially here). At the market, you may find yourself coming home with a basket of apples you’ve never heard of. It’s important to keep in mind that not all apples are created equal — at least not for pie.

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Many recipes that include apples often specify what kind of apple to use — with good reason! Despite the fact that many types of apples are fantastic to eat raw — Red Delicious (below), for example — they will get too mushy when cooked.

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Our friend the McIntosh (below) has the same issue: nice size for a lunch bag, great crunchy tang, and good for applesauce. But if you’re making an apple pie, you want a fruit that will hold its shape when cooked.

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Some good pie options are Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith (below), Empire or Braeburn. And don’t forget that you don’t have to limit yourself to using one type exclusively — you can mix a tart apple with a sweet one to balance the flavours in your baking.

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For fruit salad, or slices for the lunch bag, Cortlands (below) are great because they brown less quickly.

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As for all those interesting varieties of apples at the market: just make sure you
ask the vendor how they’re best used. And, of course, get samples!

 

 

Sue_RiedlSue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 4-year-old.

 

 

 

 

 

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