Types of Apples
Hundreds of varieties of apples range from sweet to tart to everything in between. Depending on your taste -- whether you like crisp or tender, sweet or tart -- most apples are good eaten fresh. Certain types are better than others for baking and cooking, however.
All-Purpose Apple Types
McIntosh, Jonathan, Braeburn, Jonagold, Royal Gala, Winesap, and Criterion
Snacking and Salads Apple Types
Red Delicious, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Empire, Gala, Northern Spy, and Stayman
This huge, sweet golden glove is delicious raw and great when cooked or baked. The fruit's rich flavor and tender flesh is a boon in stir-fries, casseroles, cobblers, soups, stews, and sauces. The way this blond keeps its shape makes it a natural in pies.
This bright green fruit is on the tart, tangy end of the barometer. The Granny is firm when bitten into but won't hold up to prolonged heat -- yet its high acid content makes it the apple of many a pie-baker's eye. Also try Granny Smith sauteed with pork.
The agreeable, slightly sweet, slightly tart all-purpose Cortland is ideal for baking whole (especially in the microwave) because it maintains its portly shape. Chopped or sliced, this apple is fine to fill a pie or strudel and segues adroitly into pancakes or muffins.
Cooking and baking accentuate the rich but mellow flavor of this medium-tart, deep-red apple. It's called Queen of the Bakers, and it holds up well when cooked whole. Enjoy this Beauty in bread puddings, pies, quick breads, and sauces, too.
Another all-purpose fruit, the green-gold Newton Pippin is a good keeping apple. Its highly perfumed flesh is crisp and juicy and holds up well in the frying pan or oven. This apple's sweet-tart flavor makes it a favorite for baked desserts.
Look for fruit that has firm, unwrinkled skin with no soft spots or nicks. The fruit should have a fresh apple fragrance.
Apples are best stored in a cool, dark location. In large quantities, store them in a root cellar or cool basement. Storage time varies by variety. For small amounts, refrigerate in plastic bags up to 2 weeks.