It's apple season in the Greater Northwest and we're celebrating with lots of apple pie, apple butter and apple cider! During our latest Ladies Homestead Gathering in Latah County, I talked about the best kinds of apple varieties to cook with in some of the most popular apple dishes.
Every variety of apple has its own flavors and textures. Some are sweet, some are tart, and some are in between.
Pies & Tarts
Honey crisp are sweet and hold their shape well when baked making them a popular choice for pie.
Granny Smith is probably the most common apple to use for pies and tarts, and it adds the perfect tartness when mixed with a sweeter apple.
Pink Lady apples have a well balanced tart-sweet ratio and are super crisp, so they keep their shape and make a beautiful pie.
Braeburn has a spiced and citrusy flavor when raw and turn perfectly sweet when baked. One of the things that makes them best for pie is that they release very little juices when baked, so your pie is never watery.
When making apple sauce, you normally mix a couple varieties of apples together to get a full flavor.
If you like sweeter apple sauce, Fuji or Honey Crisp, and McIntosh are a great mix for a sweet and creamy apple sauce.
Honey Crisp is perfect for those who love chunky rustic apple sauce because it keeps its shape and has a delicious sweet flavor.
Fuji apples are naturally sweet so you don’t even need to add sugar when making apple sauce with Fujis.
You can also add Granny Smith apples to your apple sauce to give it a tart flavor.
Fuji apples create a sweet and creamy apple butter.
Braeburn apples are also perfect for apple butter because the mix of sweet and juicy flavors.
The tart taste and tender flesh make the Cortland apple perfect for making apple butter, especially if you’re like me and don’t peel your apples for your apple butter.
Gala apples are one of the most popular apples and for good reason. They are sweet and perfect for making a mellow cider. They are a great variety to combine with other varieties to give it your apple cider depth.
McIntosh is a perfect option for a tart yet sweet cider and has a delicious flavor that kids and adults can enjoy.
If you like a tart cider, Granny Smith is your apple. I think it’s best to use a 1:1 ratio of granny smith and a sweeter apple like Golden Delicious or a semi tart apple like Pink Lady.
In conclusion, all apples are delicious, but some are better than others for recipes. Feel free to mix & match and use what you have! What is your favorite apple recipe?