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Best Apples for Baking

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2005

A combination of sweet and tart apples works best in pie. These six varieties, all of which retain their shape when cooked, were our favorites in kitchen tests.

Golden Delicious SweetSweet with buttery undertones.
BraeburnSweetTakes on a pear-like flavor when baked.
JonagoldSweetSimilar to Golden Delicious, but more intense.
Granny SmithTartVibrantly tart. Held shape best.
EmpireTartStrong, complex, cider-like flavor.
CortlandTartsimilar to the Empire, but more tart than complex.