Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Not Every Apple Belongs in a Pie

A quick guide to 10 common varieties

Fine Cooking Issue 67

It’s hard to think of another fruit that’s available in more varieties than apples. With all those choices, picking one for a pie or other apple dessert (see Apple desserts with easy crumb toppings) can be tricky because each variety behaves a little differently when cooked. To cut down on the guesswork, contributing editor Pam Anderson has classified some of the most common varieties into these three helpful categories. For pies, Pam recommends mainly using apples that hold their shape, along with a few apples that soften to tie everything together. If you’re considering a variety that isn’t listed, test its flavor and texture yourself by sautéing a few slices in butter.

Softens but holds it shape nicely. Quite juicy, with a complex sweet-tart flavor.

Clockwise from top left: Rome, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Braeburn.

Fairly juicy, tart, and perfumy.

Clockwise from top left: Empire, Cortland, Macoun, McIntosh.

Red Delicious
Flavorless when cooked. Save this one for the lunchbox.

Red Delicious (left) and Fuji (right).
Save to Recipe Box
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Add Recipe Note


Leave a Comment


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.