Of the thousands of different apple varieties, Granny Smiths are perhaps the most popular and recognizable. They have bright green freckled skins that sometimes show hints of pink blushing and a moderately juicy flesh. Their distinctively sharp, sweet-tart taste makes them a favorite for cooking and baking or eating right out of the fruit bowl.
HistoryThe Granny Smith is named for Maria Ann Smith, a grandmother from Sydney, Australia who unknowingly cultivated the first Granny Smith from some crab apple seeds in her garden around 1865. Having its origins in Sydney, the city hosts a grand festival in the apple's honor every October.
Buying TipsApples are available year-round, but they're best during the autumn harvest. When buying any apple variety, look for firm, well-colored fruits with a bright, fresh (not musty) fragrance. The skin should be tight, smooth and free of any bruises or gouges.
Store apples in a cool, dark place or place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Be aware that apples produce a natural ethylene gas that will speed the ripening of other fruits like avocados or pears placed nearby.
Usage TipsWhen sliced, Granny Smiths don't brown as quickly as other apple varieties, making them a perfect choice for fresh salads. These mouthwatering beauties are also a natural for dipping in caramel.
When baked or sautéed, the tartness of Granny Smiths really comes through. Cook them along with vegetables like cabbage, onions and potatoes or meats like chicken, pork or veal.
Granny Smiths make an excellent apple pie and they're a perfect addition to muffins, breads, cookies and cakes. For an easy dessert, bake or microwave the apples with a touch of cinnamon, sugar and butter.
Substitution TipsWhen Granny Smiths are not available, use another firm apple suitable for cooking and baking. To name a few: Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Jonathan, Braeburn and Rome. For more complex flavor, try a mixture of two or three different varieties.
Try one of our favorite Granny Smith recipes:
Fruited Cole Slaw
Autumn Chicken Pot Pie
Moist Caramel Apple Cake
brie, brown sugar, butter, cabbage, caramel, chicken, cinnamon, couscous, cranberries, honey, nutmeg, onions, pork, potatoes, raisins, salad