The first thing you want to think about baking apples is will they hold their shape and from there consider the balance of sweet and tart that you want to achieve in your dish. With that in mind here are our five essential baking apples, perfect for your next pie, cake, or bar.
Braeburn – Part Granny Smith this apple features some of the same characteristics, but has a richer, more complex flavor with notes of pear. The Baeburn’s crispness and juiciness, like the Granny Smith, make it great for desserts.
Pippin – One of the oldest apple varieties to come out of the United States the Pippin has a creamy, rich, complex flavor and is highly aromatic. It’s firm fruit makes it excellent for pies, tarts, and turnovers.
McIntosh – The apple my mom swears by is a baking classic. Tart and just tender enough, diced McIntosh will add sweetness and moisture to cakes, breads and cookies, and pair well with pecans, cherries. For something more savory, try it with Gorgonzola or Sharp Cheddar.
Northern Spy – Its rich flavor and mild sweetness are no secret, plus, they’re firm yet tender-skinned. This versatile New York heirloom is delicious fresh or baked, we suggest giving them a try in your next pie.
Crispin – The great crisp crunch you get when you bite into a Crispin will tell you that it will be a great baking apple. Excellent for pies, but try them for roasting whole apples or thick slices. They’re a wonderful accompaniment for your favorite roast.
Honorable mention goes to two classics, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, keep in mind that they are great baking apples, but we choose the five mentioned above, because we believe in branching out.