If you Google the best apples for apple pie, you’ll get a lot of different answers. Some people swear by Granny Smith apples for the best apple pie, while others say that you should use multiple kinds of apples in apple pie.
What’s our opinion? It’s hard to go wrong. We won’t say you can’t go wrong, because some apples don’t hold up as well as others in baking. For example, we wouldn’t recommend Red Delicious apples for pie; once baked, they tend to lose their shape and fall apart. When choosing an apple for your next pie, opt for a crispy one. The crispier it is raw, the more it will hold up when baked.
So different apples will yield different variations of pie, but which is the best ultimately depends on your preference. Do you like sweeter or tangier pie? Do you like firm or softer apples when you bite into the warm, cinnamon-y goodness? Since we can’t really pick a favorite apple, or label one as the best kind for apple pie, we’ll break down the most popular apples used for apple pie and explain how they differ from each other.
Note: if you already have apples at home, don’t let this list stop you from using them for pie. After all, an apple pie is an apple pie! Just know that a softer apple may produce a mushier pie.
Honey Crisp apples are a classic choice for pie. They’re crispy, sweet, and full of flavor. Additionally, they aren’t too juicy when baked, so you won’t end up with apple pie soup.
This tart apple is a long-time favorite for pie. It stays firm under almost any amount of baking. Because these apples are more tart than sweet, you can expect the same from your pie.
If you’re looking for the perfect balance of sweet and tart, Jonagold is your apple. They can be harder to find in grocery stores, but you can find them at our orchard! They are typically available in late September and early October. Give us a call to see if they’re ready for picking or when we expect them to be.
Another great choice for pies is Pink Lady. Like the Jonagold variety, it is a nice combination of sweet and sour. Plus, they’re delicious for snacking on while you’re making your pie.
Learn more about the apples we grow at our orchards – 35 kinds to be exact! And come pick a few different kinds we mentioned above to decide which ones you think are the best in apple pie.