Granny Smith or Golden Delicious? We've got the answers.

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When apple-picking season transitions into pumpkin-picking time, make the most of those fresh, end-of-fall apples. Our list of favorite apple recipes spans from slow-cooker wonders to too-tempting homemade desserts. Apple pie may be a classic, but Caramel Apple Cake is the stuff of dreams. These decadent desserts are sure to impress the crowd at any fall gathering—but you don’t need an occasion to channel the seasonal spirit.

In the summer, we love canning and pickling fresh produce to bring a bit of sunshine to the colder months. Similarly, one of our favorite fall projects is cooking up homemade apple butter and applesauce. Making your very own applesauce from scratch allows you to distill all that fall flavor into an any-time snack or spread. Need a lunchbox snack for the kids? Homemade applesauce is a winning solution. You can even make our Chunky Applesauce in the slow-cooker for optimal ease—and to fill your house with the loveliest fall aroma.

Although some may opt to use any apples on hand, some apples are better suited for applesauce than others. There are a few factors to keep in mind when selecting the ideal apples for your applesauce. When you’re baking an apple pie, you want apples that are slightly crisp, that will soften in the oven but still maintain their shape (Granny Smith is a favorite choice). For applesauce, you essentially want the opposite—apples that will cook down and mash well to create a flavorful sauce.

For a well-rounded applesauce, our Food Editor recommends stewing up a mix of a few different apples. Each apple brings a distinct flavor and texture, so using a variety of apples will add dimension to your applesauce.

Best Apples for Applesauce

Sweet

  • Golden Delicious Apples
  • Fuji Apples
  • Honeycrisp Apples

Moderately sweet

  • McIntosh Apples
  • Jonagold Apples
  • Granny Smith Apples

Tart

  • Jonathan Apples
  • Cortland Apples

For a basic applesauce, use McIntosh and Golden Delicious apples. Golden Delicious is a softer apple variety, so it cooks down easily and provides a great foundation for your applesauce. McIntosh apples are fresh and crisp, but soften easily, making them a stellar choice for pies and sauces. For a fresh combination, try a mix of McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Jonagold apples.

WATCH: 3 Tricks for the Best Homemade Applesauce Ever

To master the art of homemade applesauce, read more of our Food Editor’s applesauce tips. And if you make too big of a batch, find a new use for that applesauce and trade the Banana Bread for our super-moist Applesauce Cake.

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