What's the best apple for pie?

There is nothing quite like the All-American Apple Pie. It’s the perfect dessert for any occasion. Birthdays, housewarmings, baby showers, anything! Served hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (known as á la mode) or a dollop of whipped cream, this dessert is made even better when you use a home-made crust. It requires patience, but the outcome is worth it!

With so many types of apples available at grocery stores, it may not be obvious which ones are the best apples for apple pie, or baking in general. The most important attribute in a good baking apple is that the fruit’s flesh doesn’t break down from high oven temperatures, which creates an unappealing mushy experience and a recipe failure. For that reason, Red Delicious is one apple that isn’t recommended for baking. Though most apples are multi-purpose and can be used for baking, there are some apples that standout in the kitchen.

These are our favorite apples for pie:

Golden Delicious Apples:

This classic American variety has a beautiful yellow skin and mellow sweet flavor that makes it one of the best baking apples. The fine-grained flesh of Golden Delicious won’t break down during the higher temperatures needed to bake an apple pie.

Piñata® Apples:

Piñata®, brings a trio of apples together in one. Piñata® was bred in Germany in the 1970s through traditional cross-pollination methods. Its parents are Golden Delicious and two heirloom varieties from Europe, Cox’s Orange Pippin and the Duchess of Oldenburg. The same great baking texture from Golden Delicious makes Piñata® a great baking apple. Cox’s Orange Pippin adds a juicy and acidic flavor to Piñata® apples that Golden Delicious is otherwise lacking. For those who like a sweet and tart apple pie, Piñata® is a great choice to use as a standalone or alongside other baking apples.

Granny Smith Apples:

This type of apple is famous for its lime green color and tart flavor. While tartness isn’t a quality that many love in an apple pie, Granny Smith works great because of the added sugar that most apple pie recipes call for. The variety holds its shape when baked and adds a great tartness to any apple pie.

Idared Apples:

Idared is an apple that hails from Idaho, but is now grown and sold in the Midwest and East Coast. It’s a good apple for pie because it’s sweet, tart, and holds it’s shape when baked.

Pro tips

  • Using a food processor is quicker than mixing dough by hand. This will keep your ingredients cold, which is key to a flaky crust because it keeps the fat in solid, flat pieces as it is mixed. Use short, pulses until the ingredients are combined, but there are still visible flecks of butter.
  • Pre-cook your apples and let them sit for ten minutes, this will allow them to hold their shape better when you bake them.
  • Toss apples with seasonings like cinnamon, all spice, sugars and more and let them sit overnight in a big bowl. The sugar draws out the liquid from the apples which will make for a nice moist and not soggy pie filling.
  • We know it’s hard, but let the pie rest at least 30 minutes so that the filling stays inside the flaky crust when serving.