How to Choose Apples for Apple Pie

By Heidi Almond

Apple pie is a classic, wholesome dessert, and it's healthy enough that you can even have it for breakfast! Here's a guide to picking out the best apples for your next apple pie.

Fresh apple pie

Step 1

Choose apples that are smooth and free of blemishes. The fruit should be firm and without any soft spots. Apples range in color from maroon to pink to buttery yellow to emerald green.

Step 2

Tart apples are commonly used in pies, crisps and cobblers. The process of baking releases sugars in the apples and sweetens them naturally, while still retaining the sharp, tart bite. Tart apples that are good for baking include Cortland, Granny Smith, Northern Spy, Cameo and York Imperial.

Step 3

If you prefer a sweeter, less tart apple pie, try Fuji, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp or Pink Lady.

Step 4

All purpose, middle-of-the-road apples include Gravenstein, Jonathan, Jonagold, Pippin and Crispin.

Step 5

Don't feel obligated to stick to a single variety of apple! Mix and match sweet and tart apples for a unique, complex taste.

Step 6

Prepare apples according to your recipe and bake as instructed. For most apple-pie recipes, you will core, peel and slice the apples, then coat the slices with sugar and spices, then bake in a double pie crust until done.