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Types Of Apples Used In UK Cooking

Published by: Maria Kelley • Updated: January 20, 2024 • Checked By: Chef Matty Riedel

Apples are some of the coolest fruits in the world. They are sweet, flavourful, crunchy, and, best of all, very nutritious. Thanks to their rich sources of vitamins, antioxidants, fibres, and minerals, all apples are incredibly good for you, except toffee apples! For instance, they are linked with improved heart health and reduced risk of cancer and diabetes.

Types Of Apples Used In UK Cooking

Interestingly, apples are not only consumed raw. They can also be cooked. While some varieties of apples are best when eaten raw, others require to be cooked. For instance, cooked apples may not be very pleasing when eaten raw. They have tough skins and are too sharp. On the other hand, eating apples is very sweet and requires no additional sugar. 

Once you decide to cook apples, you may want to identify the best varieties. Some apple varieties are best for recipes such as cakes, tarts, or pies. Cooking apples isn’t for the faint-hearted. It would help if you had a good mastery of the fruits to get the best dishes. 

When selecting the apples for cooking, you must consider taste, crunch, recipe, or slice factors. Also, you’ll have to consider the acidity, crispness, and moisture to determine whether they’ll sustain the oven’s high temperatures. 

In general, apples can be used to prepare numerous meals, such as a sauce (with pork, yum!), in healthy juices, for dumplings, creamy apple coleslaw, or pies and tarts. The trick is to choose the best apple varieties. 

Here’s a list of ideas for using apples in your cooking;

  • Baking
  • Salads
  • Snacking and Cheeseboards
  • Sauces and Chutneys
  • Roasts and Meat Dishes – The sweetness of apples complements savoury dishes, such as pork or chicken, where they can be used as a side or incorporated into the cooking process. Think about adding apples when cooking with your versatile multi-cooker.
  • Smoothies and Juices
  • Desserts

13 Types Of Apples Popular In The UK Kitchen

1. Fuji Apples

Fuji apples date back to the 1930s when they were developed in Japan. They are among the sweetest apples with a picture-perfect balance of sugary and sour flavours. This variety is ideal for tarts, muffins, and galettes. 

When cooking, fuji apples hold excellently in the oven. They are also available in supermarkets all around the year. Also, they have a long shelf life, making them one of the most common apples around the globe.

2. Honeycrisp Apples

Just as the name hints, these apples are very crispy. You are guaranteed that these apples do not break down into slush despite the ripening stage. Overripe Honeycrisp apples will also hold significantly well. 

3. Winesap Apples

As their name suggests, Winesap apples are full of rich, complex flavours that blend perfectly well with lighter ingredients used when baking. Of course, there’s always a likelihood that these apples can overpower your other ingredients. But, if you need flavours, this is the ideal apple for you.

4. Granny Smith Apples

Just like their name suggests, these are some of the oldest apples. In addition, it’s one of the most famous varieties used to make professional apple pies. Regardless of the oven heat, these apples hold their shape well. So during cook-time, you don’t expect any sagging messes when handling them. 

They are stocked in almost all supermarkets in the UK, explaining their popularity. They are, therefore, the most practical options to use in the kitchen. 

5. Jonamac Apples

Jonamac apples are an early-fall hybrid. They are somewhat spicy and crunchy, thus very ideal for preparing snacks. 

6. Calville Blanc D’Hivers Apples

These apples originated from France. They are an alternative to granny smiths apples, thus are ideal for providing a crisp, tart flavour. 

7. Red Delicious Apples

Red delicious apples are famous for their crunchy and mildly sweet taste. Their flesh doesn’t hold well, plus a mealy texture makes them a good choice for juices and crisp. They are excellent for ciders. Interestingly, the majority of other popular apple varieties are descendants of Fuji apples. 

types of apples, red delicious

8. Winter Pomeroy

It’s a rare cooking variety that grows in the late season. It gets large in size and stores extremely well in the winter. Its skin is tough, and pectin-rich making it an ideal apple butter recipe. The skin is sieved out after cooking.

9. Cortland Apples

It’s used by cooks extensively. They prefer it over other varieties because it’s crisp, freezes well, and does not oxidate rapidly.

10. Gala Apples

Gala apples originated from New Zealand. They are mellow-flavoured, and their creamy flesh does not brown quickly. They can be cooked or eaten raw.

types of apples; gala

11. Empire Apples

Empire apples are a multi-purpose variety. They are sweet and can prepare quality tart. In addition, they prepare pies, applesauce, and cider.

12. Golden Pippin

It is a small flavour-rich apple yet so versatile. You can use it for making cider, dessert apple and cooking too. 

13. Winter Pearmain

With roots from Sussex, this general-purpose apple sweetens with age. You can therefore be used for either cooking or eating. 

types of apples

What Apple Variety Should I Use?

Apart from few exceptions, the selection of the best varieties in different categories is subjective. It widely depends on the personal taste and the required texture.

Apart from few exceptions, the selection of the best varieties in different categories is subjective. It widely depends on the personal taste and the required texture. 

Best Apple For Tarts – Fuji, Gala & Winesap

Depending on the tart you want to make, you can use different types of apples. For instance, you can make a French apple tart using cooking apples, especially the pureed base, and eaters for the sliced top. 

If you are preparing crumbles, a ratio of 50:50 (cooking and eating apples) will work perfectly. On the other hand, a Tarte Tatin or any pastry you want the apples to retain their shape, eating apples will be the best. 

Best Apples For Stewing – Winesap, Red Delicious apples

Bramley apples are excellent for preparing stews. You can use them to prepare pie filling or apple crumble. 

Best Apples For Cakes – Fuji

When selecting apples for baking sponge cakes, you have to choose the ones with extra moisture and softer texture. The fruits you use give little liquid and retain the shape. Fuji apples are a perfect choice. 

Best Apples For Turnovers – Bramley 

Bramley apples prepare a well-seasoned apple turnover. You can tweak your cooking habits to achieve a memorable meal. When preparing turnovers, you can add several ingredients, such as vanilla seeds or lemon zest. 

Types Of Apples: Summing Up

Although some apples are better suited for specific kinds of recipes than others, you don’t have to remain tied to one choice when cooking or baking. The secret is to try different apples or use a mixture of several varieties. A diet with apples very healthy. 

Lastly, you can explore the numerous recipes online. In life, everything is about trying. For example, did you know that Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before succeeding in creating an incandescent light bulb? So you got keep trying out those recipes till you perfect your culinary skills. 

Maria Kelley