Which Apples Should I Use?

Snacking: Select a variety that is full-flavored and juicy, such as Gala, Fuji, Mutsu (also known as Crispin), Jonathan, Cameo, Golden Delicious, Cortland, Empire, Red Delicious, Braeburn, Winesap, Pink Lady, or Sundowner varieties.

Applesauce: For applesauce, apple-fruit sauces, and apple butter, choose a softer variety that has a slightly coarse flesh and complex flavor, such as Pippin, Rhode Island Greening, McIntosh, Elstar, Cortland, Fuji, Gala, or Gravenstein.

Pies: Pies require a firm apple that will maintain its shape while baking. Popular options include Northern Spy, Golden Delicious, Rhode Island Greening, Pippin, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Gravenstein, Jonathan, or Jonagold.

Baking: For other baking projects, such as cakes, muffins, bars, cookies, and breads, head for Rome, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Pippin, Gala, Braeburn, Northern Spy, Gravenstein, Rhode Island Greening, York Imperial, Cortland, Winesap, or Jonathan apples.

Salads: Ideal for fruit salads, green salads, or other salad-type dishes, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Empire, Gala, Red Delicious, Fuji, Winesap, Criterion, or Pink Lady are good choices. When using fresh apples in fruit salads, keep the fruit from oxidizing and turning brown by marinating the sliced apples in citrus juice--orange, lemon or lime--before adding them to the salad.

Cider: The tastiest ciders often call for a mix of apples that will blend sweet, spicy and tart flavors. A very popular cider apple is the Winesap, which possesses an old-fashioned spicy flavor that's slightly reminiscent of wine.