This is a slight departure, but a worthwhile task.
There are a lot of varied opinions on what makes a good baking apple. Having grown up with a sister who made a delicious apple crisp, (that I’m sure some would argue was a “crumble” due to lack of oats, but they can just go away…) I have long felt that there are certain characteristics that make up a good baking apple. So as a side project, I’m going to compile a list of all the apples types I buy and the result of a standard baking. I’ll include the specifics of each Apple type on the blog and set up a comparison/notes page to compile. Recommendations for apple varieties are welcome. There will be an “apple” tag to collect the various related posts.
For what it’s worth, this is mostly about texture. Having developed sinus issues that have led to occasional inability to smell, hand hence taste) I tend to prefer a less firm apple for most baking. If I’m going to go through the trouble of cooking it, I would like the texture to change somewhat. I don’t think the apples in a pie should be substantially firms than the crust they reside in. A fork should cut through, not just push aside. There should be some texture to separate it from the gel that surrounds and binds it, but only so much.
When I was growing up in the northeast, there was basically the macintosh, but that seems hard to find out here in the PNW. Indeed the number of apple varieties around here is astonishing. To date however I have not found a be-all end-all resource describing the various types and how they respond to baking. Hopefully I can fill that void over time.