Sweet Berry Farm's Apple Guide

Apples have been cultivated in New England for nearly 400 years. Our region has a strong apple growing tradition that we embrace. The apple orchards frame our field and grow in neat rows overlooking the valley. Among the many varieties of apples we grow, some begin to ripen as early as mid-August. With so many varieties to choose from it may be hard to decide which to pick. Some are better for eating fresh while some are best for baking. Since you can't tell from just looking at them, we created this guide to help you choose.  

Apple

Recommended for Fresh Eating

Recommended for Pies

Sansa

x

Zestar

x

Early McIntosh

x

x

Gingergold

x

x

Gala

x

McIntosh

x

x

Golden Supreme

x

Macoun

x

Honeycrisp

x

Jona Gold

x

x

Empire

x

x

Cortland

x

Mutsu (Crispin)

x

x

Golden Delicious

x

Fuji

x

A Tip From Our Kitchen: You don't just have to stick to apples we recommend for baking when you make a pie. Traditionally, apple pies are made with Cortland and Macintosh apples but we find that the blending a wider variety of apples make a more flavorful pie
Sweet-Berry-Farm-Sansa-Apple

Early Apples (these ripen in mid-August):

Sansa: This apple is one of the firsts to pop up each year. Bright red with yellow stripes, it’s great for eating fresh or drying. It is compared to the Gala in taste.

Zestar: As the name implies, these apples are zesty, juicy, crunchy, and downright delicious. They’re best eaten right off the tree, but can be refrigerated for a month or more if needed.

Early McIntosh: Slightly tart and crisp, these apples are good for fresh eating and pies.

Gingergold: Pale yellow and waxy in appearance, mild in taste, and widely considered one of the best early-season apples out there. Gingergold is related to the Golden Delicious; it’s good for both baking and fresh eating.

Gala: One of the most popular varieties out there, the gala is known for its mild, sweet flavor. They have a beautiful red-yellow color and a crunchy finish that’s great for snacking.

McIntosh: These are a great choice for mixing in with other apples in a pie. Macs make a terrific snack, or applesauce. They’re the perfect blend of sweet, ripe, and crunchy.

Midseason Apples:

Golden Supreme: Pale yellow in color and mellow in flavor, this apple is great for eating fresh-picked or adding to your favorite salad. They’re one of the most popular varieties out there for their natural sweetness and juiciness.

Macoun: Known for being extra tender and sweet, these apples are an easy favorite. They’re great for eating as-is, and make a welcome addition to salads.

Honeycrisp: These apples are well loved, crunchy, and sweet. They’re a popular choice for eating fresh.

Jona Gold: This exceptionally sweet variety is also very versatile. They’re great for juicing, cider making, eating fresh, or cooking.

Cortland: These apples are best for cooking and have a sharp and refreshing flavor.

Empire: The top choice for baking and freezing, this apple is a mix of sweet and tart. An offshoot of the Red Delicious and McIntosh, expect a big crunch and tart finish.

Late Season Apples:

Mutsu (Crispin): With a sweet-tart flavor, these bright green apples are crisp and juicy. Its flavor profile complements any pie or tart. It’s great for eating, sauce-making, baking, or freezing. You can’t go wrong.

Golden Delicious: Golden color, soft flesh, and a sweet scent and taste that is almost like a pineapple. Best eaten fresh.

Fuji: This apple is perfectly sweet and just right fresh off the tree. It tends to become even more flavorful as the season goes on.