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