Don’t look now, but it’s apple season! With over 7,500 apple varieties grown across the entire world, it’s difficult to remember which apples are in-season, which make the best pies, and which are best eaten raw. To help you out, we’ve listed some popular apples in the United States, when they’re in season, and how you can use them. Let’s get cooking!

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The Best Apples for Baking (and Pie)

There’s nothing better than a slice of warm apple pie topped with some vanilla ice cream. It’s okay to let your mouth water a little bit.

When baking, you need to pick an apple with the appropriate texture. Spending time on perfecting a fall apple dish only to take a bite of mushy apple is, to say the least, quite a disappointment! To avoid this, make sure that you pick an apple that is crisp enough to withstand the oven, and that has a good balance of sweet and tart taste.

Remember, you can also mix multiple types of apples to create a variety of flavors — it never hurts to experiment a little!

Recommended Apples —

  • Granny Smith
  • Golden Delicious
  • Honeycrisp
  • Cortland
  • Empire
  • Jonathan

The Best Apples for Cider

One of our favorite parts about fall is when we see cider hit the stands in the grocery store. The sweet and spicy combination that’s unique to apple cider is the perfect companion to a crisp fall day. This year, we challenge you to make a batch of your own!

In order to get all the right flavors for a balanced cider (sweet, bitter, sharp), apple cider typically requires a blend of apples. This chart shows a standard ration of the three flavors to use when making a hearty cider. If it’s your first time making cider, try this simple recipe.

Recommended Apples —

  • Gala
  • Fuji
  • Winesap
  • McIntosh
  • Cortland
  • Honeycrisp

The Best Apples for Applesauce

You can really use any apples you would like when making applesauce, but for convenience we recommend soft apples. Not only will they be easier to cut, but they’ll also cook faster than harder apples.

Applesauce is one of our favorite fall treats because you can adjust your recipe as needed, adding more cinnamon here, a little nutmeg there. Make a big batch, refrigerate, and enjoy!

Recommended Apples —

  • Cortland
  • Jonagold
  • Winesap
  • Fuji
  • Granny Smith

The Best Apples to Eat Raw

There’s nothing worse than biting into a subpar apple. Although fall is the time in which apples are in season, some are more tasty when eaten raw, whereas other apples might be better in applesauces or pies.

The first thing to remember is that certain apples are in season during certain months. So, for the freshest taste, pick apples that are at their peak.

Recommended Apples —

  • Honeycrisp
  • Braeburn
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Golden Delicious
  • McIntosh
  • Empire

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Apple Varieties by Season

We all know that apples are in season in the fall, but what some might not know is which part of fall. Some varieties are best in late August, whereas others are at their peak in November. Below are different apple varieties, organized by when they’re in season.

Summer Apples (poor storage apples) —

  • Earligold
    • In season: mid to late July
    • Flavor: tart
    • Must refrigerate
  • Hawaii
    • In season: mid to late July
    • Flavor: tart
    • Must refrigerate
  • Rambo
    • In season: mid to late July
    • Flavor: tart
    • Must refrigerate
  • Akane
    • In season: late July to late August
    • Flavor: tart
  • Mollie’s Delicious
    • In season: mid August to mid September
    • Flavor: sweet

Fall Apples (good storage apples) —

  • Gala
    • In season: mid August to late October
    • Flavor: sweet
  • Honeycrisp
    • In season: mid August to late September
    • Flavor: sweet + tart
  • Empire
    • In season: late August to mid October
    • Flavor: sweet
  • Jonathan
    • In season: early September to mid November
    • Flavor: tart
  • Cortland
    • In season: early September to mid November
    • Flavor: sweet
  • Red Delicious
    • In season: mid September to mid November
    • Flavor: sweet
  • Jonagold:
    • In season: mid September to mid November
    • Flavor: sweet

Winter Apples (best storage apples) —

  • Melrose
    • In season: mid September to late October
    • Flavor: tart
  • Ida Red
    • In season: mid September to mid November
    • Flavor: tart
  • Turley Winesap
    • In season: late September to mid November
    • Flavor: tart
  • Mutsu
    • In season: late September to late October
    • Flavor: sweet + tart
  • Stayman Winesap
    • In season: early October to mid November
    • Flavor: sweet + tart
  • Fuji
    • In season: early October to mid November
    • Flavor: sweet
  • Granny Smith
    • In season: early October to mid November
    • Flavor: sour
  • Black Twig
    • In season : early Octob er to mid November
    • Flavor: tart

Mouth watering? Check out our Holiday Cookbook for over 40 recipes >>