For an apple pie filling of tender yet intact chunks that fruit, balanced perfectly in between tart and also sweet, no all to apologize are produced equal.

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But i did notification an exciting phenomenon when I by chance left out a couple of bags that sliced apples for a little too long:


I noticed together the apples were sitting that, depending upon the variety, lock browned come a various degree. Some, like Red Delicious, turn dark brown almost immediately. ~ above the various other hand, even after number of hours, Granny Smiths showed only a hints of browning.


I arranged the apologize on a key in bespeak of your level that browning.** What immediately struck me was the the least tart apple—the Red Delicious—was all the method at one end, when the most tart apple—the Granny Smith—was every the way at the various other end.


** The stimulate they are arranged in in the photograph is through level of browning relative to their original color, i m sorry is why some appear to be the end of order.


This renders sense: Acid deserve to inhibit the browning oxidation reactions the take location in fruit flesh when it is exposed come the air. Because that the same reason, cooks will keep trimmed artichokes in acidulated water—it prevents browning.


Well, there's another thing that mountain does: the strengthens pectin, the cement-like glue the holds together the cell of fruit. So, looking in ~ this i ordered it spectrum of apologize is actually a pretty good indication of just how well every fruit is walking to organize up during baking. The farther to the ideal along the browning scale, the firmer the apple should be in the finished pie.


After arranging the small pies in this very same order and assessing their fillings, turns out that this is without doubt true. As you'll watch in the image below, the pies begin off with very mushy filling that gain progressively firmer.


Flavor: very sweet and one-dimensional.Texture: Mealy meat that turns to mush once cooked. Skin is thick and also can be rather bitter. It may look great on the supermarket shelf for a lengthy time, but is really just tasty when fresh-picked.Pie Rating (1–10): 1. completely mushy, through a really one-dimensional, cloying flavor. This reminded me of bad applesauce.Best Uses: Eating the end of hand, yet only when really fresh.


Flavor: Sweet and mildly tart, with really white flesh.Texture: Tender and slightly grainy.Pie Rating (1–10): 3. the holds up far better than, say, Red delicious in pies, yet still turns quite brown and mushy.Best Uses: Applesauce or eating out of hand.


Flavor: really sweet and also mildly tart, with a distinct citrusy aroma, similar to Granny blacksmith (of which the is a descendant). That becomes nearly pear-like in flavor when it cooks.Texture: quite crisp and not much graininess. This texture appears to indicate that it indeed has actually a relatively strong framework of pectin.Pie Rating (1–10): 7. the manages to soften totally while tho retaining a great deal the texture once baked into an apple pie, as result of its density. It might be slightly firmer once baked. Great gold color.Best Uses: Pies, tarts, sauce, eat plain.


Flavor: very mild when consumed out of hand; not an extremely sweet, however develops in flavor once cooked.Texture: It has a thick skin and really firm flesh. Despite it has a reputation together a good baking apple, I uncovered it unsuitable.Pie Rating (1–10): 3. It transforms dark brown and also mushy as it bakes.Best Uses: Sauce.


Flavor: rather sweet and also fresh-tasting; no cloying.Texture: fresh flesh that stays good for a long time. The texture is nearly pear-like in its moisture level and crunchiness.Pie Rating (1–10): 2. The soft flavor does not get amplified by baking. Watery but tart.Best Uses: Eating out of hand.


Flavor: Sweet, tart, and nearly buttery. Well balanced and also rich, particularly when cooked.Texture: an extremely fresh and quite crisp, but can border ~ above mealy when hosted for too lengthy off the tree. When baked, it softens however retains a bit of texture.Pie Rating (1–10): 8. The finest flavor I got out of any single apple—this is what to apologize pie should taste like. I just wish it to be slightly firmer.Best Uses: Pies, sauce, apple butter.


Flavor: similar to that of a McIntosh, but much sweeter and much more tart. Prefer its cousin, it's got very white flesh and also a gentle flavor.Texture: Tender and also slightly grainy.Pie Rating (1–10): 4. it does rather well in pies texturally—softening without breaking down—but lacks in flavor.Best Uses: Applesauce or eating the end of hand.


Flavor: an extremely sweet and very tart, through a great level the juiciness, it's a cross in between a McIntosh and also a Red Delicious and also shows spices from both.Texture: despite its tender/grainy ancestry, its texture is rather firm and also crunchy.Pie Rating (1–10): 3. once baked, it has nice texture, yet becomes cloyingly sweet. The mountain is tho present, however it's not enough to fight versus the sugar level.Best Uses: Eating the end of hand.


Flavor: Mild and sweet, through a same amount that tartness, it's among the most well-known apples about for its small size and great resistance come bruising.Texture: an extremely thin-skinned, v a grainy texture.Pie Rating (1–10): 6. once baked, the holds the shape, yet the graininess can obtain overwhelming. I choose my pie apologize to be supple and also smooth-textured.Best Uses: Eating out of hand.


Flavor: very bright and also tart, with a unique citrus aroma and also white wine–like nose. Texture: an extremely firm, crunchy, and slightly grainy.Pie Rating (1–10): 5. the holds up almost indefinitely as soon as cooking. It has an excellent brightness, but not much apple-y flavor.Best Uses: Eating out of hand.


Now, some very astute readers can have noticed the one glaring exception here: Braeburns space low in acid, yet remain relatively firm together they bake. Why is this?


It all has to do through air. Braeburns are fairly dense apples, through not much air in between their cells. (You deserve to see this if girlfriend drop one right into a bucket of water along with, say, a McIntosh: Braeburns will certainly float increase much an ext slowly.) to apologize with many air will certainly collapse ~ above themselves, prefer a deflating balloon, together they cook. Very dense apples—like Braeburns—will retain their shape better, even as they completely soften.


As you deserve to see from mine tasting notes, for the most component texture certainly does improve with much more tartness, but great texture alone does no a great pie make.


Some folks imply mixing two arrays of apple—one to administer texture, the various other for flavor—but this never ever made sense to me. Say we combine some Granny Smiths with some Romes. What you end up v is a pie that's gained nice for sure chunks of to apologize interspersed v brown apple mush.


Nope, a solitary apple would need to do it for me, and also the best ones in the running room the golden Delicious and also the Braeburn. They're the people I usage for every one of my baking purposes.


The inquiry is, due to the fact that both gold Delicious and also Braeburns have actually great, well-balanced flavor, however neither is quite firm enough when baked, is over there something I have the right to do to boost upon your texture?


Indeed there is, and also this write-up is riddled with ideas on how to do it. To get the full explanation, check out the final installment in our pie-a-thon, whereby I"ll explain how to turn your apples right into the best pie pour it until it is full they can be.


are In-Season to apologize Better?

You might think the the entirety "local, seasonal" motion is getting a little bit out that hand, and also oftentimes, I tend to agree. But there are particular foods for which that truly provides sense. Apples for pies are among them.


See, if girlfriend aren't to buy apples directly from the orchard or picking them you yourself in the fall, possibilities are that they've been in long-term storage. Apples are stored in atmospherically regulated rooms for as much as 10 months prior to being put on supermarket shelves. This holding wreaks havoc through their cabinet structure, causing them come ripen in ~ a vastly enhanced pace as soon as they're taken the end of storage.


This method that if you buy an apple indigenous the supermarket in, say, June, most likely that apple was picked last October. In ~ a job or two, the goes from being crisp and bake-able to mushy and unsuitable because that pies.


My advice? Don't roasted apple pies other than in the fall and also early winter. If friend absolutely must have actually that spring or summer pie, look for apples that are refrigerated, and get them right into your very own refrigerator as shortly as possible. Do not let them sit at room temperature for also long prior to cooking them.


As because that what to execute with the leftovers the 20 pies? If friend ask me nicely, I might share with you a great means to make friends with your neighbors.

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Author"s Note: This is the 2nd of three Food Lab write-ups in a series about just how to make the ideal apple pie, start with the basics the pie crust and ending with the right method to cook apple pie filling. Here, we"ll gain into what arrays of apples have the consistency and flavor we"re searching for in a pie filling—according to science.