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Which Apples Are Best for Apple Pie?

Make this classic, sweet dessert the right way.
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch

When it comes to fall, we all love to fill up our homes with the deliciousness of baked apple goodies. From pies to turnovers to baked apple crisps, there's a lot to bake up using seasonal apples. But with all the varieties of apples, it's tough to know which one to use for baking. Below you'll find a helpful guide on five varieties of apple that is best to use to bake a killer apple pie. You'll also find some helpful tips on shopping for apples at the market and the best way to store them once you get home.

Read on, and for more healthy eating tips check out Major Effects Bananas Have on Your Health, Says Dietitian.

Apple Nutrition

Although the nutrition of apples can be slightly different based on variety, on average one medium (3-inch) apple provides about 95 calories, 25 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fiber, and is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C, providing 14% of the recommended daily amount. Apples also contain the phytonutrients called phloridzin and quercetin, which have been linked to helping fight heart disease and some forms of cancer. There is also the antioxidant beta-carotene in the peel.

Storing and Shopping for Apples

Choose apples that are firm and shiny with no bruises or dents. Bruised apples emit ethylene gas, which promotes ripening and can cause spoilage of foods around them (so be careful when storing them with bananas and avocado). Avoid buying overripe apples, as they can taste mealy.

Store apples in a cool, dry place or in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Which Apples Should You Use for Baking?

The best apples to make your pie from are apples that keep their structure and don't turn to mush when baked. Here are five varieties to choose from when baking up your pie:

Granny Smith

Granny Smith apples

This tart apple is a longtime favorite to use for pies because they are very firm and don't end up mushy when baked. Because they are tart, you may want to combine them in your pie with a different variety of apples to balance the flavor. This variety is available all year round.


Honeycrisp apples

This sweeter variety stays pretty firm during baking and combines well with Granny Smith apple for your pies. Get them while you can for a few months only in the fall.

 Why You Should Be Eating Apples Right Now


Rome apples

This spherical-shaped apple has a rich red skin. Although it has a nice texture for baking, it's a bit bland in the flavor department. Mix with a more flavorful variety for the best results in your pie.

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious apples

This yellow-skinned variety is available at the market most of the year. The flavor is sweet and tart and a good choice for apple pie—especially if you're looking to use only one variety of apples.


jonagold apples

These classic apples have red skin and a tart-tangy flavor. They're a cross between Golden Delicious and Jonathan Apples and have a firm texture. Look for them at your local Farmer's Market because they're harder to find at your local supermarket. So whether you're baking apple pie for the first time or are a seasoned pro, taking time to find the apples that are going to be best for your individual needs will be totally worth it.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, MS, RD, CDN
Toby Amidor is an award winning dietitian and Wall Street Journal best-selling cookbook author who believes healthy and wholesome can also be appetizing and delicious. Read more about Toby