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Old 03-16-2017, 07:00 PM   #1
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Best apples for pie?

For years I've made pies with golden delicious apples with a couple of granny smiths added for tang and had a pretty good result. The goldens hold together and aren't too wet. Recently however, they have become scarcer and more expensive as growers replace their trees with more lucrative hand apples. A friend has suggested trying Gravensteins.

What sort of apples do you like to use?

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Old 03-16-2017, 07:06 PM   #2
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I use my aunt's old family recipe and that calls for cortlands. Taste great to me.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:02 PM   #3
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For most of the recipe, I use Granny Smith. I also purchase about five apples of a different kind. Always one Cortland, Johathan, Empire, etc. If I am using my crowd pie plate, I will purchase no less than ten to 12 apples. For the small Pyrex, I purchase eight to ten apples, depending on the size of the apples. I purchase one non pie apple. Like ATK, I partially cook them with the sugar/cinnamon mixture just until they are warm. By then the non pie apple is soft enough to mash and break down and it helps to absorb any extra juice that may come out from the apples. I don't like to rely on corn starch or flour for thickening. I hate it when I pile the apples really high and then cut into it and find half of them have shrunk and left a large void at the top right under the top crust. Precooking the apples helps to prevent that.
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:16 PM   #4
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I think a good tart apple makes the best pie. Certainly Granny Smiths. We don't usually (well I don't) mix apples. And I am in favor of traditional types, such as the Cortland and Gravensteins mentioned.

We grow Harrelson's in our orchard ( ok it's just 2 trees, but doesn't that sound la-de dah.) Crisp, tart, releases juices when baking and the sliced apples still hold their shape and don't break down. Makes excellent tasting pie. Not sure how far beyond the mid-west these apples are available. Harrelson's were developed here. They are not available year round.

I always sprinkle ~1 Tb lemon juice on the sliced apples. Because that's the way my mom did. Pretty sure not every apple in the barrel needs this, but hey, tradition.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:00 AM   #5
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Janet, I started making pies with the usual Rome or Mac/Jonathon combo. Never a fan of those, though, since they cooked down so much I felt like I was eating applesauce pie. Blech. I now almost always use Gala apples for pies. They get soft enough but still retain their body. A bit of tart, but not puckery. I'll taste a slice of apple from each one I peel and slice so I know how naturally sweet they are before adding any sugar to the bowl of sliced apples. They usually need very little extra sugar.

When we moved to our first home, there was an old apple orchard with about 15 varieties on my home-to-work route . Himself started to travel during the week, so each Thursday I would stop and buy the variety that was in harvest. I'd have a different pie ready when he came home on Friday nights. We decided that we liked apples that kept their shape more and had some texture when you bit into the pie. Since then (late 1970s), some of the apples are no longer available, and many more aren't sold out here in MA. If you feel like an apple pie bake-a-thon, you could work through all the varieties available in your area.




Whiska, I like your take on "apple orchard". When we lived in OH, the foundation below the first floor was called a basement. We kept our wine down there. When we moved here, I found out they call them cellars. We now have a wine cellar.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:37 AM   #6
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I would sell the blood of my first born along with the wing of a bat and the eye of a newt to be able to get my hands on some Northern Spy apples for a pie. But they aren't available until late into the Fall.

One year when I was at Topsfield Fair I asked one of the growers about them. I was told that they are considered the Golden Apple of all crops. Even before it is ready for picking, it has already been sold. So around the middle of November, I start looking for that eye of a newt. That is my one stumbling block.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:37 AM   #7
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I always use several kinds of apples, Macintosh for the flavor only as they tend to dissolve to much but their flavor really adds I didn't have any one time and notice a big difference, Empire, red delicious, Macoun, Granny smith. Always good pie
New York State great apples !!!!!
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:50 AM   #8
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I asked my wife, who makes awesome pies from our yearly trips to upstate NY to go apple picking, and she said there are a lot of good ones: Gala, Cortland, Fuji, Jonah, Macoun, and Braeburn.

She also likes to mix in a Granny Smith for extra tart-ness, depending on the mix.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:35 PM   #9
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I use the apples from my no-name tree to make my Swiss apple pie. I have no idea what variety it is, but the apples are nice and firm, with a sweet-tart flavor.
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I use the apples from my no-name tree to make my Swiss apple pie. I have no idea what variety it is, but the apples are nice and firm, with a sweet-tart flavor.
No name???? Horrors! Miss Swiss Miss sounds just perfect for her!
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