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Jan 30, 2009 08:20 AM

Apples for pies and tarts

We live in the southwest and typically our grocery stores stock the following types of apples:

Red and Green Delicious
Cameo (sometimes)
Pink Lady’s
Granny Smiths

When I (attempt) to make a pie I always use Granny Smiths. I recently made a tart using Granny Smiths and I felt the apples just didn’t cook down enough – they were a bit too firm after 45 minutes in the oven but the crust was done and I really needed to pull the tart. I don’t want mushy apples either!

Which of the apples available in our stores would make a good alternate choice to the Granny Smith? I am thinking the Pink Lady as they as a pretty crisp and slightly tart apple but I don’t know how they would do once baked on the top of a tart.



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  1. I only use Granny Smith if I’m caramelizing the apples, such as Tarte Tatin. I love golden delicious during the fall. But after January I find golden delicious to be a little soft and drier for apple pie of any kind. From late Jan until early fall I use Macintosh apples.

    1. I use fujis, galas, pink ladies, and braeburns in my pies. They cook down more than grannys and have a nice flavor, never too soft. I, too, like golden delicious, but I agree, that after January, they tend to be a little soft. Macs are great for eating, but I've never had luck with them in my pies; too mushy.

      1. Granny only for me most of the time. Delicious during the Fall I admit but down in FL we always get good produce.

        1. The only apples that Ièm consistantly happy with for pies/tarts are "Northern Spy" apples. Once you've tried them, you won't go back!!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: bigfellow

            Never seen them in the south however, gourmet markets or not.

            1. re: bigfellow

              The original poster doesn't have access to them, but where I live, Newton Pippins and jonagolds make great pies!

            2. I recently used Pink Lady's , chunked and Granny Smith's sliced smaller, for an apple crisp when I couldn't find my Northern Spy' I know that isn't a pie, but the technique of different sizes might do the trick!