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How to Bake with Apples

Updated September 15, 2020
Apple varieties
Not all apples look, crunch, or taste the same. Neither do they bake the same! Elevate your apple game with this quick how-to guide that'll help you make the most of everyone's favorite fruit - from aromatic pies and apple crisps to soups with a delicious twist.

How do I pick the best apples?

  • Which apples bake best? For the best pies, crisps, and other baked treats, apples need to be firm enough to hold their own during the cooking process. We call these apples “baking apples” and to namedrop, they include Braeburn, Cortland, Honey Gold, Jonathan, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Haralson, and Newtown Pippin. Try mixing a variety of baking apples to take the flavor of your pie to whole new depths.
  • Let's think beyond a pie! Use fewer firm apples for cakes and sauces. Red Delicious, McIntosh, and Golden Delicious apples tend to break down faster when they bake, making them perfect for your alternative treats.
  • How do I know what apple to choose? The best apples are the ones that are in season. Out-of-season apples have been kept in storage, which affects their freshness, crispness, and juiciness.
    • Look for firm apples with no bruises or bug holes.
    • Unripe apples will be overly hard and too green or yellow for their variety.
    • Fresh, ripe apples will have a strong apple aroma.

Best uses for apples

How many apples do I need?

  • The more the merrier! The general rule is that about 5-6 sliced or chopped apples make for a perfect 9inch pie. Try Betty’s Scrumptious Apple Pie—this recipe calls for eight of your favorite tart apples.
  • How many apples do I need for most crisps? You will need 4 to 6 cups of sliced apples. 4 cups work well for 8-inch baking dishes and 6 cups are perfect for 13x9 pans.
  • How do I convert whole apples to cups? It’s easy! Just remember:
    • 2 to 2 1/2 cups chopped or sliced apples are equivalent to 3 medium apples, or about 1 pound.
    • 3 medium apples are roughly equivalent to 2 large apples or 4 small apples.

2 cups of apples chopped next to 3 medium-sized apples on a cutting board

How should apples be stored?

  • Refrigerate apples for full flavor and crunch.
  • Keep the temperature between 32-40F degrees.
  • To prevent drying, store in perforated plastic bags or containers that allow airflow.
  • Apples keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. No pressure!

How should I prepare my apples before I start cooking or baking?

  • Wash and peel your apples. An apple's skin becomes tough during cooking and it will not break down.
  • Use a vegetable peeler, instead of a knife. It’s faster and removes less flesh.
  • Cut peeled apples into fourths to easily remove the core.
  • Toss cut pieces with water and lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • Use overripe or bruised apples for sauce, like our Slow-Cooker Apple Butter or our Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce.

Peeling Granny Smith apples on a cutting board
 Tossing chopped apples in lemon juice and water to prevent browning.

Ready to try a few of Betty’s best apple recipes? We’d love to know what you decide to bake. So, once you've made it, share it!

Apple recipes to make while the season is ripe