The Best Apples for Apple Crisp

Updated: Dec. 01, 2023

The secret to making the best apple crisp is using a combination of sweet and tart apples, or choosing an apple with a naturally sweet-tart flavor. Need more specifics? Here are the best apples for apple crisp.

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Full Frame Shot Of Granny Smith Apples For Sale In Market
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Granny Smith

Out of all the apple varieties, Granny Smiths are everyone’s go-to baking apple for a reason. They’re we—ll-known for their delightful tart flavor, making them an ideal blending apple with some of the sweeter apples on this list. Don’t be afraid to use them solo, either. Their high acidity makes them perfect with a sweet, apple crisp topping.

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Close-up of stack of Fuji apples at a market
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Fuji apples super sweet and crunchy, making them an ideal snacking apple. But they’re also fantastic in baked dishes! Fujis are firm enough to hold their shape during the cooking process, and their sweet flavor deepens to become extra rich. Blend them with tart apples and they’ll create an apple crisp that’s hard to beat.

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Gravenstein Apples
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If you’re looking to use a single apple variety for apple crisp, this is the one. Gravensteins are delightfully tart with a honeyed finish, giving them the perfect sweet-tart balance needed in baked goods.

Trying to decide between baking a crisp, crumble or cobbler? Here’s the difference between each dessert.

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Jonagold apples background at apple harvest. A cross between a golden delicious an jonathan apple
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If your taste buds tend more toward the sweet side of the spectrum, look for Jonagolds. They’re a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious, and we love using when making apple pie. These apples are another good choice as a solo baking apple. They’re mild in flavor but contain the right sweet-tart balance.

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Crispin (also known as Mutsu) apples
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Crispin apples (also called Mutsu) are pale green like a Granny Smith, but they taste sweet like a Golden Delicious. Their texture is perfect for baking, with a firm and crisp consistency that holds its shape. They do have a lightly tart flavor to balance out their juicy, sweet taste.

Use this recipe to make a fruit crisp with any fruit.

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red winesap apples background at apple harvest
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We saved the best for last! These green and red apples are crisp with the perfect balance between sweet and tart flavors. As a bonus, they also taste spicy like wine or apple cider. Because they’re exceptionally juicy, they’re traditionally used for cider making, but they taste fantastic in baked desserts.

Discover what are crap apples and if they’re safe to eat.