It’s that perfect time of the year for visiting apple orchards and picking bushels upon bushels for your baked goods. Although, not all apples are created equally (for baking, that is). As soon as you get your oven involved, you have to take into consideration the crispness, structure and flavor that’ll hold up under heat, yet still be soft enough to melt away in your mouth.
We’ve curated a list of the best apples for your baking this year. Test them out for yourself in our Apple Pie Filling recipe and let us know in the comments which apple wins your pick!
- Granny Smith: The tried and true baking favorite, the Granny Smith apple, has just enough tartness to not overpower the recipe and balance out sweetness. Its crisp flesh makes it a good all-purpose baking apple.
- Braeburn: Braeburns are perfect for making filling for pies and tarts that you want to be perfectly juicy but not mushy, such as these Cinnamon Apple Mini Pies. The Braeburn apple has a sweet, yet tart flavor that holds its own alongside strong spices like cinnamon and allspice.
- Gala: Gala apples are common and relatively easy to find any time of year! In one taste test with Serious Eats, the Gala was found to have perhaps the best texture after baking. According to the post, ”It held its form, but melted with one bite.”
- Jonathan/Jonagold: Jonagolds are a hybrid between Jonathans and Golden Delicious apples. This blend makes Jonagolds slightly sweeter, though both are tart with a rich and slightly spicy apple flavor.
- Honeycrisp: As the name indicates, Honeycrisps are very crisp, guaranteed to hold their shape in the oven. They are a relatively new variation that has grown rapidly to popularity for its honey flavor that is delicious without being overly sweet.
- Golden Delicious: The Golden Delicious is one of the sweeter apples on this list. It stays true to its flavor during baking, and reduces to a perfect soft, gooey apple dessert filling.
Grab a few of each of our top six picks for apples and test them out in your baked goods this fall. Be sure to let us know in the comments which ones worked best for you!