HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Favorite apples for baking pie?

Tina1981 Sep 30, 2012 08:55 AM

I made an apple pie with the usual Granny Smith's that I have always used but I think they taste too sour. What apples do you prefer to use in an apple pie?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. j
    janniecooks RE: Tina1981 Sep 30, 2012 09:05 AM

    You might find the answer to that question in these posts which ask about favorite or best apples for pie:


    1. greygarious RE: Tina1981 Sep 30, 2012 09:06 AM

      Search and ye shall find: http://www.chow.com/search?query=appl...

      1. PHREDDY RE: Tina1981 Sep 30, 2012 09:44 AM

        50/50 mix of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious. I have been using this after seeing a live demonstration with Jaques Pepin about 10 or 12 years ago.

        1. s
          Saluti RE: Tina1981 Sep 30, 2012 01:51 PM

          I like Fuji apples in my apple pie. They are sweet and hold up well during cooking. I have also used half Fuji and half Granny Smith. That combination tastes really good as well.

          1. a
            angelsmom RE: Tina1981 Sep 30, 2012 02:08 PM

            Either Cortlands combined with Macintosh or Granny Smiths with Macintosh.

            1. s
              sandylc RE: Tina1981 Sep 30, 2012 05:00 PM


              1. q
                Querencia RE: Tina1981 Sep 30, 2012 05:19 PM

                MacIntoshes have the most apple-y flavor (I think) but they tend to go to mush. So I use half and half Granny Smiths (for body) and MacIntosh (for flavor) with sugar, plenty of cinnamon, a little clove, and sprinkles of nutmeg on top.

                1. jo_jo_ba RE: Tina1981 Sep 30, 2012 06:14 PM

                  Northern Spies are the only ones we'll use!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jo_jo_ba
                    buttertart RE: jo_jo_ba Oct 1, 2012 10:17 AM

                    My idea of the perfect pie apple too, not very common here in NY/NJ unfortunately.

                    1. re: buttertart
                      biondanonima RE: buttertart Oct 1, 2012 10:47 AM

                      There are several you-pick orchards that have them, but it's impossible to find them in stores. I was just looking at some you-pick websites and many orchards are already done for the season, since the harvest ripened early. I found a few that still have apples, though - I'll report back if I find Spies!

                      1. re: biondanonima
                        buttertart RE: biondanonima Oct 1, 2012 02:59 PM

                        I hadn't realized that you were in somewhat the same neck of the woods as me. Will be happy to hear.

                        1. re: buttertart
                          biondanonima RE: buttertart Oct 6, 2012 04:49 PM

                          We went up to Stuart's Farm near Katonah today (between the Taconic and 684) and they had Spies, a few still on the trees. Unfortunately, those we tasted in the field were a bit bland, and the pre-picked ones didn't look great - a bit bruised and battered. I don't think it was a great season in general. Our usual source, Lawrence Farms in Newburgh, was closed for U-pick for the season, but I have had excellent Spies from there. Warwick Valley Winery and Orchard has Spies and a number of other very interesting and unusual varieties (Spitzenberg, Orange Pippin, etc.), but they too were finished with U-pick a couple of weeks ago.

                  2. h
                    Harters RE: Tina1981 Oct 1, 2012 03:44 AM

                    Bramley Seedling. Occasionally Howgate Wonder on the rare occasions I see them for sale.

                    1. l
                      LJS RE: Tina1981 Oct 1, 2012 04:48 AM

                      "Northern Spies make great pies..." wisdom that I grew up with...now just try to find them! I, however, do substitute Granny Smith'sand it is because of their tartness that I value them for my pie recipe which I don't want to be too sweet...I make the crust with cheddar and serve with a slab of same.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: LJS
                        Harters RE: LJS Oct 1, 2012 05:15 AM

                        Apple pie and cheese is a classic and rightly so, IMO

                        In my part of the world (north west England), we also have a rich fruit cake with cheese.

                        1. re: Harters
                          Tina1981 RE: Harters Oct 1, 2012 10:11 AM

                          recipe??? :))

                          1. re: Tina1981
                            Harters RE: Tina1981 Oct 1, 2012 10:38 AM

                            Pie, when herself makes it, is pretty much standard. Shortcrust pastry filled with apples. Maybe a little sugar depending on which apple is being used.

                            And this is our standard rich fruit cake recipe (although we don't cover in marzipan as neither of us can stand it). http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cu...

                          2. re: Harters
                            buttertart RE: Harters Oct 1, 2012 10:19 AM

                            Family favourite since our neighbors from Yorkshire introduced it.

                        2. r
                          rccola RE: Tina1981 Oct 1, 2012 03:02 PM


                          1. h
                            hungryjoanne RE: Tina1981 Oct 6, 2012 04:59 PM

                            I take my husband's grandmother's advice and try to put in 5 different types of apples. The mix provides a variety of textures & tastes, and is a great way of using up the odds and ends from the fruit drawer.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hungryjoanne
                              Tina1981 RE: hungryjoanne Oct 8, 2012 06:55 AM

                              sounds really good! will try that!

                            2. splatgirl RE: Tina1981 Oct 8, 2012 10:27 AM

                              IMO it depends on what texture you prefer for your filling and where you live. To me the point of apple pie is to take advantage of what is local, plentiful and in season. The best apple in one place may not even exist in another, so start with whatever is freshest and most local to you. Consult an apple variety use guide. Here is one: http://www.epicurious.com/articlesgui...
                              Often you can find something similar posted wherever you buy, too.

                              I have the good fortune to live in an apple producing region and am close to the the U of MN apple research facility where I can choose from about 30 varieties every season including experimental and too new for market types. In the good old days one could sample everything before buying which was a great learning experience. Thank the U of MN for the Honeycrisp, Zestar! (my favorite for eating), and SweeTango, among other varieties, but don't get sucked in by the marketing. Regional heirloom varieties aren't as sexy but are often tastier.

                              Anyway, I go for at least three varieties for a pie. My favorite all purpose apple is Haralson because they don't turn to mush when baked and have a good tart/sweet balance. Macintosh is good if you like your pie with a mooshier texture, and I'd also include a variety that is sweet like SweeTango or Honeycrisp for a good mix of texture and flavor.

                              1. l
                                latindancer RE: Tina1981 Dec 5, 2012 05:38 PM

                                Definitely gravensteins.

                                1. Ruthie789 RE: Tina1981 Dec 5, 2012 05:52 PM

                                  Empire and Wolf River Apples. They maintain their structure and are both tart and tangy.

                                  Show Hidden Posts