Types of apples in apple pies

As I picked up apples today at the market, I saw more people presumably getting apples for thanksgiving pies. I overheard the farmer making a suggestion of muzu and jonagold 50-50 for apple pies. Another farmer suggested newtown pippin.

How about you? What types of apples do you like?

Always use Bramley Seedling which is always available at the supermarket. Nice and sharp.

Makes a good puree, as well, for sauce or similar.

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Mutzu apples as rec by the apple farmer at the market. He had over a dozen varieties and was definite that mutzu made the best pies. We shall see in a few days:) I like that they are big and easier to peel than the small ones. Happy pie baking!

Unfortunately, Bramley Seedlings aren’t widely available in the US. There is an orchard near me which grows a number of heirloom varietals and I have purchased Bramleys there - they do make a great pie! Ditto Newtown Pippin - I have only seen them at specific orchards that specialize in heirloom varietals.

Most of my local orchards now grow Northern Spies, which are great for pie, but they seem to sell out quickly in season. When I can find them, I like to use at least half Spies with maybe a Golden Delicious and a McIntosh mixed in, but even an all-Spy pie is pretty darn good.

If I’m using supermarket apples for pie, I usually use equal parts Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and something else - that something else is whatever the store has. Galas, Pink Lady, Jonagold, Empire - they all bring something to the party. If none of those varieties looks good then I just go Granny/Golden/Mac. I like this combo because I like my apple pies to have both intact slices of apple AND lots of apple goo, plus a good sweet-tart balance. McIntosh apples break down almost entirely into luscious goo, while Goldens and especially Grannys stay more intact. I always slice the Grannys much more thinly than other varieties because they are SO crisp. The Goldens bring the sweet while the Grannys provide the tart.


Usually Granny Smith or Golden (green apples) are recommended by the pastry chefs here in France. I like Granny Smith’s acid taste that is adding a new dimension and is tamed down a bit when cooked.


Picked mine up today.

Always a mix of firm and soft, tart and sweet. But never Delicious or Golden Delicious - the former is odious, the latter bland. If I Macouns or Northern Spies are available, I’d choose them. Otherwise, something like Grannies and Macintosh, or Cortland and Empire. Varieties available vary so much from area to area and the point in the season that it’s impossible to come up with a suggestion everyone agrees on and can use.

I agree that Red Delicious apples are truly odious. Like eating chalk. I don’t find Goldens bland, though, especially when cooked. They are definitely sweet, but cooking seems to bring out a bit more complexity in the flavor, and their texture is nice and meaty.

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I grew up in a place where apples had to be imported from far away. The only type of apples that we regularly got was red delicious. Let’s just say I never liked apple growing up.

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To each his own, of course, but I theorize that the reason today’s cooks and American recipes so often call for Golden Delicious is that until the last 20 years or so, it was the only widely-available fresh apple that would hold its shape when cooked that had half-way decent flavor. (Too perfumy and mild for me, though, so I cringe when Pepin or ATK call for them). The year-round supermarket regulars (e.g., Gala, Fuji, Braeburn) all keep their shape and have more complex flavor. GD no longer needs to be a default apple for baked goods.

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Similar in the UK. It was so dominant until comparitively recently. It’s the only apple I can recall being advertised on TV when, due to the number we imported from France, it had the slogan of “Le Crunch” in the 1980s. It, and it’s cousin Red Delicious, have fallen out of favour nowadays due to it’s fairly bland flavour.

We hit the orchard today and managed to snag a few Bramleys and Spies, although we were probably a week late for prime picking of those varieties - I really had to search to find apples on the tree. We had better luck with Golden delicious, which my husband likes for eating fresh, and a russeted variety called Karmijn de Sonneville, which was crisp, tart and complex out of hand. Not sure how they will cook up but I’ll try sauteing one just to see.

I am waiting for the arrival of Winesap myself, any day now. My local farmer claims they are excellent for pies…we shall see! I will be enjoying them either way though.

I have never baked with winesaps - I will be interested to hear how they turn out. The orchard we visited grows them but they weren’t quite ready for picking.

I am calling every few days to see if they’re ready…will do the pie as soon as I can and report back.

I bought some apples at the farmers market. 3 dif varieties, and I don’t remember the names. One variety that I chose bc they were really large apples which meant less peeling.
I made a pie. It baked for over 80 min. Crust was getting too brown but the apples were still pretty hard. Not a good pie. Think I learned the lesson to choose my apples carefully for a pie!

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I like to use Braeburns, and the greenest golden delicious I can find. Sometimes I do use Granny Smith’s if I need a little extra filling. Made a good pie once with all Fugi’s, which surprised me. Oh and I do like Johnagold for pies too.

Although we’re a major apple producing state, I’ve never seen spies, winesap, or some others mentioned upthread. As well, our farmer’s market in our small town is pretty lame. Mostly arts & crafts, fresh flowers - very few produce vendors, or even food stalls.

Oh and put me in the camp that detests Red Delicious - I also never liked them as child either!

My apple pie is finally made…the Winesaps are sturdier than your usual baked apples so if you like them mushy it might not be for you. I do like it myself though, I added a handful of raisins soaked in whiskey, and a big dash of cold pressed apple cider which I also picked up from the farm.

Only problem was that I was afraid to push the newly repaired oven over 400 degrees, the one time I did so far it blew a circuit breaker for some reason: Next time I think I’ll take the chance. This is still the best way to eat apples though, as far as I’m concerned.


Thanks for the report! I like some firmer apples in the mix when I make a pie, so next time I lay hands on winesaps I’ll give it a go. Bummer about your oven, too - I like to give pies a good 15-20 mins at 425 to set the crust and start browning.

I know, next time I will do the suggested 425, and if the circuit breaker pops I’ll deal with it! Luckily the pie is still quite edible.