Apples that work well for cooking include Granny Smith, honeycrisp and Crispin varieties. The pink lady and Cortland varieties are also considered good for cooking.
With their strong tart flavor and crisp green flesh, Granny Smith apples are one of the most popular cooking apples. The firm flesh keeps its shape under high heat, and the flavor pairs well with spices. Granny Smith apples are often used in apple pie and similar baked goods.
Honeycrisp apples are extremely crisp and juicy, with a flavor that's both tart and honey-like. These apples have a golden-red color and remain fairly firm when caramelized in a skillet or baked in the oven.
Crispin apples also have a firm flesh and a sweet, mildly tart flavor. Also known at Mutsu apples, they are very juicy and have a yellow-green skin. In addition to baking well, these apples also work well for slow-cooking into sauces.
The pink lady variety has a balanced blend of sweet, tart and tangy flavors, although it is not as crisp as other cooking apples. The distinct flavor makes it a popular addition to baked goods, as well as a tasty fresh snack.
Cortland apples have a slightly tart flavor and are known for their bright red skin and pure white flesh. They are popular for pies, cobblers and apple crisps, as well as for serving fresh because they don't brown quickly.