Everything you need to know about apples, from the flavors and seasons to cooking and using them in your favorite recipes!
As you’ve seen in groceries stores, there are a lot of apple types out there. So many, in fact, that the bulk of the variations that exist don’t even make their way into stores! A quick Google search says there are nearly 7,500 varieties. WHAT?!
Since we can’t quite cover all of them today, we’re going to be focusing on five of the most common: pink lady, honeycrisp, gala, granny smith, and fuji. These are commonly used in recipes and are the most accessible at essentially any grocer!
Different types of apples
Apple varieties hold more differences than just color. Their tastes and level of sweetness varies, as do their cooking qualities and textures! Did you know that different types of apples are better for different kinds of recipes? There are some you should cook with, and others that are better eaten raw!
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. I’d hate to including that cheesy saying, but there really is some logic to it!
Apples are loaded with benefits. They’re most commonly known for their fiber, but they also contain healthy levels of potassium, manganese, copper, Vitamins C and K, and more. They’re heart healthy and good for the gut, the brain, and even your bones.
When apples are in season
The best time to get apples is between the end of the July and the start of November. However, each variety of apple has their spotlight moment!
Gala, granny smith, and honeycrisp peak first, with estimated dates encompassing September for Gala, the end of September into October for granny smith, and September to November for honeycrisp.
Pink ladies are at their peak in the middle of October, and fuji apples are delish at the end of October.
We’re lucky because we can get most varieties at any point throughout the year! But these timeframes are when the apples are the most in season, and therefore the most delicious.
Taste: The taste of pink lady apples is more tart than not, but it’s not sour either. They’re very sweet!
Best used for: Pink lady apples are delicious eaten in baked goods, but they are also the perfect option for eating raw. Because they oxidize slowly, their flesh doesn’t turn brown as fast as other varieties, making them great for packing slices in lunches or including on charcuterie boards!
Peak season: Middle of October
Taste: Honeycrisp apples are extra sweet, crisp, and refreshing.
Best used for: These apples are great enjoyed raw, but they also make a great option for using in baking like pies and cobblers.
Peak season: September to November
Taste: Gala apples tend to be sweet and juicy!
Best used for: They have a flavor that’s perfect for eating as-is. However, these hold up well in baking as their texture retains its shape, and their sweet flavor contributes a great taste to anything they’re baked into. Another great way to use gala apples? Applesauce!
Peak season: September
Taste: Granny smith apples are so tart, they almost taste citrusy! They can sometimes be on the sour end of the things, and they have a lot of flavor.
Best used for: These apples are crisp and great for cooking and hold up well in baked goods like cobblers, muffins, etc. They pair perfectly with nut butter for a tasty snack!
Peak season: End of September into October
Taste: Fuji apples are another sweet, non sour option.
Best used for: These apples work well for baking, but they also hold up well in recipes where they’re sautéed! You can also use these to make delicious and sweet apple juice.
Peak season: End of October
Ways to cook with apples
Apples can be used in various types of recipe. Most notably used in baking, they work in everything from fruit cobbler, pies, muffins, and cakes to breads, crisps, tarts, and galettes. However, things don’t stop there.
You can make baked apples with a little brown sugar and cinnamon, or you can use them to make pudding or apple icecream!
Apple recipes to try
Try out your favorite apple variety in one of these recipes! The oatmeal is a personal fave, and the tart is great for a crowd!