How to Bake with Apples

Created July 22, 2019
Apple varieties
When you run into a question while slicing up apples for an aromatic pie or warm bubbly crisp, Betty’s got the answers you need. Consider this your quick guide to making the most of apple season.

How do I pick the best apples?

  • What are the best apples to use in pies? For the best pies, crisps and other baked treats, apples need to be firm enough to hold their shape through the cooking process. These types of apples are typically referred to as “baking apples” and include varieties like Braeburn, Cortland, Honey Gold, Jonathan, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, Haralson and Newtown Pippin. To add depth of flavor to your pie, try mixing a variety of baking apples.
  • What about other baked apple treats? Chopped or sliced apples for cakes and sauces can be less firm than apples used in pies. Red Delicious, McIntosh and Golden Delicious tend to break down faster when they get baked making them a good option for sauces and cakes.
  • 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 means they will not be as flavorful and juicy as fresh-picked apples.
    • 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?

  • How many apples do I need for most pies? You will need 5 to 6 cups of sliced or chopped apples for a 9- or 10-inch pie, but some pies require more. 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 works well for 8 inch baking dishes and 6 cups is 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 is 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.
  • The perfect temperature for storing apples is between 32-40F degrees.
  • Store in perforated plastic bags or containers that allow airflow to prevent drying.
  • Apples keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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

  • Wash and peel your apples. Apple skin becomes tough and it will not break down when cooked.
  • 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, and we’re always happy to answer your questions—leave us a comment below.

Apple recipes to make while the season is ripe