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A Baker's Guide to Apples

Do you know your Red Delicious from your Jonagold? This guide can help you select the right apple for every recipe!

By: Caitlin Lawler, Editor, TheBestDessertRecipes.com
A Bakers Guide to Apples

You can create some amazing dessert recipes with apples, but sometimes which type of apple you use can make a big difference in how your dessert tastes. The editors of TheBestDessertRecipes.com have put together some tips for choosing the best apple for your baking needs. Whether you want to make homemade pie, apple cider, or apple sauce, there is an apple that is perfect for the occasion. Next time you go apple picking, attack that orchard with purpose and bring back the ideal apples for the recipes you want to make.
 
If you’ve never had an apple for dessert before, try it! Dessert apples are sweet and crispy, perfect for snacking. These apples also make excellent caramel apples. Below, the editors of TheBestDessertRecipes.com have selected some of our favorite apples for eating, cooking, and baking. Some apples have multiple uses, so be sure to check out our picture guide below for more tips. With a little experimenting, you can find your favorite apple type for every occasion, as well as for any of your favorite fall dessert recipes. In A Baker's Guide to Apples, you'll discover types of apples that are new to you, too. 

Know Your Apples for Cooking, Baking, and More

When it comes to cooking and baking, not just any apple will do. If you've just returned from the apple orchard or farmers market and are wondering what to make with each type of apple, then you will want to make the most of the apples you have selected. Whether you're planning to make a batch of applesauce or just want the best apples for a pie, knowing the right apple to use for the recipe can make a world of a difference. You'll discover some of the most popular types of apples and their best uses in the following illustrated guide to apples. Click here for a larger version of the graphic below.

A Baker's Guide to Apples

The Best Dessert Apples

For many people, fall is synonymous with delicious apple desserts. Whether you want to keep it simple by selecting the right apple for a sweet snack or plan to serve baked apples topped with ice cream, these apples will be just what you need. And according to Washington State University, some of the following apples are available even early in the season, so you can start making your favorite apple desserts right away. You will love adding a bit of fall to the table when you use these apples.

It will probably come as no surprise that the Red Delicious apple is one of the most popular apples for fresh eating. This apple is likely the one that comes to mind when you think of what to give a teacher on the first day of school, or the apple the Evil Queen gave Snow White. It is crispy, juicy, and a deep red color, and is the perfect apple to pair with caramel or dip, and is included in this recipe for Homemade Caramel Apples (pictured below). Crunchy and firm, this type of apple is a classic. It tends to turn mushy when cooked, however, so keep it out of your pies!

Another favorite dessert apple at TheBestDessertRecipes.com is the Honey Crisp. Honey Crisp apples are sweet, juicy, and refreshing. They have a mild flavor that makes it appealing to many people. This apple is also good for all types of baking, so we make sure to stock up on Honey Crisps every fall.

The Fuji apple is small, sweet, and a little tart. This apple’s size and flavor make it a great dessert apple. It’s all you could ask for in a light, healthy snack.

Homemade Caramel Apples

The Best Cooking Apples

Apple pie and caramel apples may get all the press, but you can't forget about other options for cooking apples! Roll up your sleeves and make this the year you learn how to make apple cider, or even make a jar of homemade applesauce. You'll be amazed by how easy it is to get cooking with apples. In addition to those apples listed below, the University of Illinois Extension recommends using Golden Delicious apples for cooking, too.

Gala apples are our first choice for apple cider. They have a mildly sweet but not overpowering flavor that allows those cider spices to work their magic. Some cooks swear that the best way to make apple cider is to mix sweet and tart apples, however, so try using a few Gravenstien or Cortland apples along with Gala next time you’re planning homemade cider.

For apple sauce and apple butter (including this recipe for Simple Homemade Apple Butter, pictured below), try Jonagold. This apple is a cross between a Johnathan and a Golden Delicious. The result is one amazing cooking apple. Whoever decided to cross the crispy, sweet Golden Delicious with the juicy, tart Jonathan was an apple genius!  

Simple Homemade Apple Butter

The Best Baking Apples

Apple pie. Apple cake. Apple dumplings. Is there any type of dessert that you can't make with apples? If your plans for this fall include baking a wide assortment of desserts, then you will definitely need these apples at the ready. 

Our go-to apple for baking is the Granny Smith. You can always find a good old Granny Smith apple at your grocery store. These reliable apples are sure to produce a satisfying apple pie (including this recipe for Grandma's Old Fashioned Apple Pie, pictured below), tart, or crumble.

If you want to branch out when you’re next baking with apples, try the Pink Lady. Like the Honey Crisp, this is another dessert apple that doubles as an excellent baking ingredient. Also known as Cripps Pink apples, this apple variety keeps its flavor and shape when baked into a pie or cake. 

If you are baking in the fall, make sure to try as many different kinds of apples as you can! Many apples are more difficult to find year round. Use the guide above by TheBestDessertRecipes to make the most of this year's apple season. 

Grandma's Old Fashioned Apple Pie

Best Apple Dessert Recipes for any Occasion

What's fall without snacking on apple cider doughnuts or biting into a slice of fresh-baked apple pie? In these recipes, apples play the starring role. You'll love making these delicious recipes the next time you want to try something new this fall. 

Southern Apple Dumpling Recipe (pictured below): Perfect for any occasion, this recipe for apple dumplings will quickly become part of your repertoire of go-to recipes. Your dinner guests will especially love how the apple dumplings are formed and baked. They're almost too pretty to eat!

Best Baked Bloomin' ApplesThis six-ingredient recipe is almost too easy to make. If you'd like to make this dessert a bit more special, then consider topping it with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or vanilla yogurt.

Gooey Apple Fritters: You don't have to wait for dinner to eat dessert! These delicious apple fritters will be the perfect addition to your brunch menu this fall. 

Golden Apple Pie Lasagna: Here's a new twist on the traditional apple pie that you and your family are sure to love. If you're attending a potluck or other get-together this fall, make sure to bring this dessert with you.

Just-Like-Mom's Apple Dump Cake: This dessert really can't get any easier to make! This dump-and-go cake takes about an hour to bake, making it the perfect dessert for anyone who loves to multi-task. 

Southern Apple Dumpling Recipe

Which apple do you like best for snacking, cooking, and baking?
Let us know in the comments!

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What a fun article! I love the infographic with all of the different types of apples. To answer the question I love baking with apples best.

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