The 7 Finest Apples for Vegan Apple Pie, and What to Keep away from

The arrival of this season’s apple crop is an annual occasion that indicators heat, spice-laden desserts. However, there are such a lot of varieties, making it troublesome to decide on the most effective apples to make use of for apple pie. 

The very fact of the matter is that not simply any previous apple will do. Some can take the warmth of the oven with out turning right into a mushy tragedy whereas others … properly, they’re simply not suited to baking. 

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“An important factor when choosing apples for pie is the feel,” Hannah Kaminsky, cookbook creator, meals photographer, and the creator of the vegan recipe weblog, BitterSweet, tells VegNews. “That’s why I’d by no means go for one thing with a softer chew, like Empire or McIntosh. These are higher suited to making applesauce or apple butter as a substitute.”

Fortunately, the most effective apples for making apple pie don’t change while you’re making the dessert vegan. The right apple pie incorporates a filling that’s candy however tart and intact but tender, with a buttery, flaky crust. Not each apple is up for the job.

What’s the most effective apple for apple pie?

With regards to baking, not simply any previous apple will do. Listed below are the most effective apples to make use of for apple pie. 

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1 Granny Smith

In case you ask a baker what their favourite apple for apple pie is, likelihood is that Granny Smiths might be on the high of their checklist. 

“Granny Smith apples are sometimes listed as the most effective apples to make use of for pie,” Emily Frigon, founding father of the vegan recipe weblog Garlic Head, says. “Their tart taste performs properly with the sugar in most recipes. In case you’d like, you may combine the apple with one thing sweeter, like a Honeycrisp or Pink Girl, for a pleasant steadiness of flavors.”

This spring inexperienced apple might be the sourest selection obtainable. It has a citrus-like aroma and an acidity that enhances the sugar and spice that you just coat it in for pie. It additionally has a agency, crunchy texture that holds up when it bakes. If you use Granny Smith apples in vegan baking, you’ll discover that they often keep in no matter form you chop them into.

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2 Honeycrisp

With a reputation to match its taste and texture, Honeycrisp apples are one other superior baking fruit. This selection is available in hues of purple and yellow. 

“Personally, my favourite apples for pie are Honeycrisp, since they’ve a agency, crunchy texture that holds up properly to baking with out turning into mealy, and a pleasant sweet-tart steadiness,” Kaminsky says. Additionally they have a candy, honey-like taste. 

Whereas Honeycrisps make good apple pie apples, Kaminsky notes that they are often on the costly facet. “So, a superb various is a combination of Granny Smith and Fuji apples to get a very satisfying vary of flavors,” she says. Be warned: Whereas Fuji apples pair properly with Granny Smith apples in pie, the Fuji selection doesn’t do properly by itself. Extra on that later.  

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3 Braeburn

You possibly can simply spot Braeburn apples by their streaks of orange and purple on a Granny Smith inexperienced background—becoming since this selection is a crossbreed of Girl Hamilton and Granny Smith. 

Braeburns are low-acid apples which might be juicy and crisp with a sugary citrus taste. They soften up a bit of once they bake however stay agency and flavorful sufficient to not get misplaced in the entire spices and sugar.

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4 Crispin

Crispin apples, additionally known as Mutsu, are a cross between Golden Scrumptious and Indo, a Japanese cultivar. These mild inexperienced apples with an orange blush have a lightweight, candy taste with a crunchy texture that may stand the oven’s warmth. They’re additionally identified for being extraordinarily juicy. Crispins are typically a lot larger than different apple pie-worthy apples, so that you received’t want to purchase as many for baking.

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5 Pink Girl

Also referred to as Cripps Pink, its official cultivar title, Pink Girl apples have a reddish-pink blush colour. This jack-of-all-trades apple has a superb steadiness of acidity, sugar, and crunch, making it good for snacking, salads, cooking, and baking. It has a crisp chew and intense, sweet-tart taste that holds up even when it’s baked right into a pie. 

“These are all on the sweeter facet, so when you selected to concentrate on only one apple, I’d counsel including some lemon zest for distinction,” Kaminsky suggests.

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6 Golden Scrumptious

Golden Scrumptious is among the hottest cultivars within the US. This basic apple has speckled pores and skin and a green-ish gold hue, typically with a faint orange blush. Though it’s implied within the title, it’s not a cousin of Pink Scrumptious. It has a gentle sweet-tart taste with a crisp, juicy texture that makes it a well-liked apple for apple pie.

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7 Jonagold

A cross between Golden Scrumptious and Jonathan apples, Jonagolds look the half. They’ve a golden yellow pores and skin with flushes of muted purple and a crisp texture with a taste that’s sweeter than it’s tart. However, it nonetheless incorporates sufficient acidity to make it a superb apple for pie apple. By way of measurement, Jonagolds are substantial, so that you received’t want to purchase too many—or, you should buy lots and save them for snacking. It’s a pleasing consuming apple, too.

Worst apples for apple pie

The apples to keep away from in apple pie are ones the place the flavour and texture don’t match as much as what, in our opinion, the proper vegan apple pie wants. 

The apples under don’t work for pies as a result of they often can’t take lengthy cooking occasions, Frigon explains. “In case you attempt baking a pie with these, it may change into overly smooth and gummy,” she warns.

They change into a grainy and flavorless mush that will get misplaced between the crusts. That isn’t to say that these are unhealthy apples—they shine in different methods. Together with Rome, which Kaminsky recommends for apple butter as a substitute, the apples you don’t need to use are:

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1 McIntosh

These thick-skinned apples are sometimes ovular and lop-sided with a coloring that consists of inexperienced and muted blush. It’s dense and juicy with a mealy, however crisp texture. However due to this, it tends to show to mush when utilized in baked items and its candy and tangy taste is misplaced. 

McIntosh apples are good for snacking, salads, oatmeal, vegan stuffing, applesauce, and pureeing. Use the apple puree in vegan baked items like this Spiced Apple Cake, which options warming notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

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2 Pink Scrumptious

Say the phrase “apple,” and most Individuals possible image Pink Scrumptious of their head. Pink Scrumptious apples have powerful, vibrant purple pores and skin, lengthy shelf-life, and a tall, conical form. They’ve a agency chew and a gentle, calmly crisp flesh. 

Sadly, its recognition is declining. Many individuals complain that it lacks taste. Nonetheless, Pink Scrumptious has its followers, who get pleasure from it for snacking and salads. Nevertheless, it will get misplaced in baked items—so skip it when you’re making vegan apple pie.

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3 Fuji

Inexperienced with pink speckles, crunchy, refreshing, and juicy, Fuji is taken into account probably the greatest consuming apples. However, as beforehand talked about, when it’s by itself, Fuji tastes watery and unhappy in vegan apple pie. 

Combine Fuji with a crunchy apple, like Honeycrisp—Kaminsky’s private favourite—if you wish to reduce down on prices. In any other case, save Fuji for snacking, salads, and pairing with vegan wine and cheese. 

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4 Gala

Gala is among the hottest varieties within the US.  It has speckled purple pores and skin and yellow spots, plus a posh taste that’s candy with floral and vanilla notes. This makes it a tremendous apple for snacking, juicing, and salads, nevertheless it tends to get a bit of too grainy when it’s baked. Nevertheless, that texture is fantastic in these doughy vegan maple apple cinnamon rolls.

Now, you’re armed with the information of what makes a superb apple for apple pie. Use that while you subsequent bake an apple pie or these shortcut apple pie turnovers, that are made with unintentionally vegan puff pastry. In fact, no vegan apple pie is full with no scoop of dairy-free vanilla ice cream.

For extra seasonal vegan baking guides, learn:


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