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Apples For Pie

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What are people's favorite apples for making apple pie?

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  1. I like a mix.

    For later season/longer keeping apples:

    Northern Spy ("Spies for pies!")
    Winesap or Baldwin
    Macoun ("mack-OW-en")
    Russet/Pippin-types or Crispin/Mustu

    1. Granny Smith is the only thing my son the pie eater will let me use - works every time!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Barbara

        I tried Granny Smiths in my last pie...and it was dry, dry, dry! I had to make a sauce by simmering apple juice, sugar, cinnamon, flour, and a little lemon juice and INJECT it into the finished pie via a squeeze bottle!
        Never again.

      2. Pippins are the best for pies and apple crisp, in my opinion. A distant second best are Granny Smiths. I live in California. I don't think Pippins are available all over the country.

        1. My grandmother, a farmer's wife, swore by russets for pies. Maybe for the firmness and tartness, maybe because they were too ugly to serve for eating from hand.

          1. Golden delicious. I would not eat them regularly but in apple pie they are AWESOME. I still use them after watching David Rosengarten from TASTE back in the 6th grade...

            Cheddar - Cheese apple pie. You put it in the crust and it makes it flaky and oooo sooo delicious. Probably the best recipe I've ever had for apple pie...

            1. I usually mix some tart Granny smiths (they retain there shape the best) with some other sweet variety-Golden delicious, or a local variety.

              1. 2005 - Granny Smith and Macouns
                2006 - Macouns and Gala

                1. I recently used a combination of Mutsu, Empire, and Granny Smiths.


                  1. The apples that grow on the 3 apple trees in my yard. They are small, red, and one tree produces sweet apples, the other two, very tart apples.

                    1. You must use organic apples---jucier and more flavorful...I love organic Granny Smiths!

                      1. Am I the only person who uses Macintosh apples for baking? I know the "experts" tell us they're too soft and lose their texture, but this is exactly what I love about them, in addition to their flavour. I usually mix Macs with Granny Smiths.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: FlavoursGal

                          No, you are Not the only person to use MacIntosh for pies. They are the New England favorite I think, especially if used early in the season. I have experimented with a variety of apples for the quintessential NE pie and always come back to the Macs. Simple ingredients: organic sugar, cinnamon, allspice, butter... and that's it. TDF The crust is the key!

                          1. re: Gio

                            I like using Macintosh too. For the pie I recently made, I bought the apples at a local farmer's market, and there weren't any Macintosh available. But I like trying out other flavors and textures too, so that was good.

                          2. re: FlavoursGal

                            Macs hit the Jfood pie wagon as well. When I go to the store my hands and nose guide me to the apples of the week. Mrs Jfood makes me a Apple Crumb Pie almost every week during the fall and we experiment all the time with the apples. She uses a slightly modified version of Kathleens Bake Shop (from the Hamptons) for the topping, with no nuts due to my allergy. :-)))

                            1. re: FlavoursGal

                              This thread started in 02, was bumped in 07, and I'm bringing it back because I'm sick of reading about how people should never use Macs in pie.

                              Like Flavours girl, I love Macs. I grew up eating them in apple pie, and their particular flavor is what I am always looking for. I do mix them with other apples, now, since it is hard to avoid pie gap with 100% Macintoshes. But that really soft, almost pudding texture they get- I adore that!

                              Crappy pies (grocery store bakery) tend to have firm apples, and I really dislike that.

                            2. I've been using Cortlands with great success. I use the CI recipe...... with Julia Child's pate brisee from MtAoFC

                              1. Among supermarket apples, Granny Smith, or Cortland. OK to blend with early MacIntosh.
                                If you live in any kind of apple country there are probably local, heirloom baking apples living on at an old family run orchard. Go and ask. Here we were introduced to Rhode Island Greenings that are the last word for pies. Northern Spy is also worth the effort to track down.

                                1. I personally have had huge success with Cortlands. Of course I did pick them off the tree about 2 hours before I baked the pie, so that may have had a little bit to do with it. A little bit off the topic, but what are people's thoughts on cranberries? I've found that craisens taste better than straight cranberries.

                                  1. Bramley apples are the best but I don't think they are available in the US. They are a regular cooking apple in England.