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Apples for Baking

a chart of apples for baking


New York State's bigger and better answer to Granny Smith Apples cannot be grown here because they require a longer season to ripen than New York state conditions will allow. This heirloom variety is famous not only for its massive size but excellent baking qualities as well.

  • Best for pies, applesauce, and baking

  • My favorite pie apple, but not so great for eating.

  • Available between September and November



  • Thought to be a cross between Granny Smith and Lady Hamilton.

  • Holds up very well in cold storage.

  • Sweet and tangy flavor

  • Excellent for snacking and cooking. While this isn't my top choice in a pie apple, I have used it in pies with other varieties.

  • Available in October



This all-purpose apple was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, in 1898.

  • Juicy, sweet apple with just a hint of tartness

  • Excellent for eating, salads, sauces, pies, and baking

  • Good for freezing



Introduced in 1948, this is a cross between the Golden Delicious and the Indo apple varieties, first grown in Japan.

  • A crunchy and sweet apple.

  • Excellent for eating, sauces, baking, and freezing

  • Available October through September



It's a cross between a Red Spy and an Empire apple and was created at Cornell University.

  • Excellent for pies and sauces


Ida Red

Developed in Idaho, it's a cross between two old-time New York apples (Jonathan and Wagener) that were first grown in Penn Yan in 1791.

  • Excellent for sauces, cooking, baking, and pies


Northern Spy

This apple breed was discovered around 1800 in East Bloomfield, New York, south of Rochester, New York, as surviving sprouts of a seedling that had died and was cultivated with stock brought in from Connecticut. Northern Spy apples are tarter than most popular varieties, and its flesh is crunchier than most, with a thin skin, and is my runner-up for pie baking. The only reason this is in the runner-up position is because it can be tricky to find. Northern Spy apples are an heirloom variety that fell out of favor somewhat due to the dull coloration, irregular shape, tendency to bruise easily, and lack of disease resistance.

  • Best for pies, apple sauce, and baking

  • Somewhat harder to find

  • Available starting around October



This old-time variety originated in Ohio in 1816 but is widely grown in New York State.

  • Excellent for sauces, baking, and pies 

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