There are over 7,500 different varieties of apples worldwide. In the United States, 2,500 different types of apples are available. Apples are grown in all 50 states. For the first time in 50 years, the Gala apple beat out Red Delicious as America’s favorite apple. Did you know the Illinois state apple is the Gold Rush? With so many different varieties to choose, knowing which ones are best for freezing, drying, or making apple sauce can be difficult. This list emphasizes the best apples for quality and flavor.
Pies & Baking
Ambrosia, Braeburn, Cameo, Cortland, Empire, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Honeycrisp, Jazz, Jonagold, Jonathan, Pink Lady
Juice or Cider
Ambrosia, Cameo, Gala, Golden Delicious, Gold Rush, Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jazz, Jonagold, Pink Lady
Sauce & Butter
Ambrosia, Braeburn, Empire, Fuji, Cameo, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Honeycrisp, Jazz, Jonagold, Jonathan, Pink Lady, Rome Beauty, Stayman, McIntosh, Winesap
Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonathan, McIntosh, Braeburn
Ambrosia, Cameo, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Jazz, Jonathan, Stayman, McIntosh, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Jonathan, Pink Lady, Rome Beauty
Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Empire, Cortland
Rome apples are not a tasty snacking apple, yet, the red delicious variety is mainly suitable for just snacking rather than baking or preserving. All apples can be dried, made into sauce, butter, juice, cider, frozen, baked, or made into pies.
Have additional questions about keeping apples fresh? Contact the local Extension office, visit University of Illinois Extension’s Apples & More website, or access the July 15, 2020 webinar on apple preservation as Extension educators share tips on canning, freezing, drying, and cooking a variety of apples.
RECORDED WEBINAR: Preserving Apples at Home
SOURCE: Lisa Peterson is a Nutrition and Wellness Educator serving Christian, Jersey, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties.
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Harris, Linda J, et al. Apples: Safe Methods to Store, Preserve, and Enjoy.University of California, 2007.
Hirsch, Diane W. Dehydrate Some Local Apples: Preserve the Flavor. University of Connecticut Extension, 2016.
U.S. Apple Association, 2020. usapple.org.
Washington Apple Commission, 2020. Bestapples.com
Warmund, Michele. Apple Cultivars and Their Uses. University of Missouri Extension. 2002.
Zepp, Martha. Et al. Let’s Preserve: Apples. Pennsylvania State University. 2019