This is the best type of apple for baking

If you're going to go to all the trouble of making an apple pie or crisp, make sure it's worth all the slicing, peeling, and chopping by choosing the best apple for the job. You might not have thought about it before, but different varieties of apples each have their own niche in the kitchen. Some apples will break down to mush when they're cooked, which obviously isn't what you want when you're baking a pie, so they're best saved for making applesauce or eating raw (via Eating Well). Others can be a little too sour to eat on their own, but if you cook or bake them in a recipe with a little sugar added, they'll make a delicious dessert.

Usually, when it comes to baking, the Granny Smith apple reigns supreme. Both Bon Appétit and The Kitchn list it as their go-to apple for baking, and there's a good reason why. Granny Smith apples are firm enough to hold their shape when they're cooked or baked, so you'll end up with tender apple slices that aren't complete mush; and since they have a tart flavor, they won't be overwhelmingly sweet when you mix in a little sugar (via The Kitchn). But while Granny Smith apples are one of the most popular choices for tarts, pies, and crisps, they're also not your only option in the produce section.

Other apple varieties that are great for baking

It's hard to beat a pie filled with Granny Smith apple slices, but if you're looking to change things up a little, there are plenty of other apples that also hold up well when baked. According to Bon Appétit, Honeycrisp apples are one of the best alternatives to Granny Smiths. They're delicious eaten raw, and have a crisp texture that can stand up to the heat of your oven. They also recommend giving Jonagolds a try thanks to their blend of tartness and sweetness and their ability to survive the oven without turning to mush.

Cortland and Braeburn apples are also popular alternatives to Granny Smiths (via The Kitchn). Cortland apples are usually a little on the small side, but if you're willing to put in a little more work, its sweet and tart flavor works well in baked desserts and even savory recipes. Braeburn apples are actually related to Granny Smiths, so if you don't want to try something radically different, give this one a chance. The main difference between the two is Braeburn apples are just a little sweeter, so they're a good choice if you find Granny Smiths a tad too tart for your taste. As long as you pick apples that will keep their shape in the oven, experimenting with different varieties is a fun and tasty way to change up your go-to apple pie recipe.