Bake a pie, toss a salad, sauce it up and love every bite!
Fall makes us think of crisp weather, warm meals and, of course, the arrival of apple season! Although many apples are tasty enough to eat out of hand, you can also bake them into pies, slice them up and add them to your morning oatmeal or incorporate them into fresh, fall-inspired salads.
Not all apples are created equal. Some are best suited for cider or applesauce, while others are ideal for snacking and packing. Not sure where to start? Read on for our picks, plus suggestions for how to make the most of every variety.
Made for Baking
Some apples are at their best when baked, cooked or fried. The following apples can withstand heat—and might become even sweeter and tastier because of it. See below for some of our recommendations, along with sweet and savory recipes.
Empire Taste: Sweet, tart and wonderfully juicy! Texture: Exceptionally crisp Fun Facts: Empire apples are the offspring of McIntosh and Red Delicious apples, developed at Cornell University in the 1940s. Availability: Early October
Rome Taste: Mild in flavor, with just the right amount of sweetness, pleasant tartness and delicate floral notes Texture: Crunchy, with firm, dense flesh Fun Facts: Rome apples withstand heat very well and their flavor is actually richer, sweeter and more pronounced when cooked. Enjoy them baked and stuffed or fried. Availability: Early November
Snacks & Salads
Who doesn’t love a good apple? Sliced, diced or eaten as-is, these apples are simply delicious on their own or mixed into a refreshing salad. We’ve gathered some of our favorite snacking apples, along with a few salad recipes you’ll want to make ASAP.
Pro Tip: Keep apple slices fresh and bright by placing them in lemon water. Simply cover the apples in water and mix in two tablespoons of lemon juice until ready to use.
SweeTango Taste: Juicy, tart, sweet and exceptionally flavorful, with a hint of citrus, honey and spice Texture: Discernibly crisp Fun Facts: When breeders at the University of Minnesota combined Honeycrisp and Zestar apples together, a unique hybrid called the SweeTango was born! Availability: Late September
SnapDragon Taste: Sweet and juicy with bold flavor and hints of cider and spice Texture: Crisp Fun Facts: This hybrid apple was created by breeders at Cornell University and is derived from the Honeycrisp. These apples are on high demand and are quick to sell, so get them while you can! Availability: Early October
Opal Taste: Sweet and juicy, much like Honeycrisp apples, but with floral notes and a pleasant, tart finish Texture: While their crisp texture holds up well in baked goods, we like this apple best eaten fresh. Fun Facts: Opal apples are hard to miss with their eye-catching, canary yellow hue. They also don’t oxidize (turn brown) when exposed to the air, which makes them excellent additions to lunchboxes, cheese boards and salads. Availability: Late October and early November
McIntosh Taste: Juicy and sweet, with an apple cider flavor and a pleasant, refreshing tartness Texture: Crisp but delicate (these apples bruise easily) Fun Facts: McIntosh apples vary depending on how early or late in the season they’re harvested. Early season apples will appear greener with a tart flavor, while later season apples are often red and sweet. Availability: Early to mid-September
Cortland Taste: Sharp, sweet-tart and juicy Texture: Crisp but tender Fun Facts: These apples are the offspring of McIntosh apples. Since they don’t store very well, they should be enjoyed soon after purchasing for the best texture and flavor. Availability: Late September
From tarts to fritters, salads to snacks, these super-versatile apples work well in a number of recipes. Pack them in a lunchbox for school or work, or bake them into a delectable tart—perfect for fall entertaining. See below for more recipe ideas.
Envy Taste: Sweet crunchy and juicy, with notes of pear Fun Facts: This apple is a hybrid of the Braeburn and Royal Gala apple. When cut, these apples are slow to oxidize and will remain white for up to 10 hours before turning brown. Best For: Eating out of hand, salads, cooking or baking Availability: Late September
Honeycrisp Taste: Sweet and juicy, with flavors reminiscent of apple cider Texture: Firm and crisp Fun Facts: This apple is the state fruit of Minnesota Availability: Late September
Pink Lady/Cripps Pink Taste: Sweet, tart and refreshing Texture: Supremely crunchy, firm and dense Fun Facts: These apples are the first to bloom in the spring and the last to harvest. They’re also slow to oxidize when cut, so they hold up well in salads, in lunch boxes and on cheese boards. We also love to bake them in desserts, since they hold up nicely to heat. Availability: Late October