Ingredient Intelligence

Tart & Green: Granny Smith Apples

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

You can spot a display of Granny Smiths a mile away. Among the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows of the other fruits, these bright spring-green apples shine like they have their own special spotlight. And maybe they do.

The Granny Smith hybrid was first propagated in Australia in 1868 by, yes, the real Granny Maria Ann Smith and it is now grown in apple-growing regions around the world. The fruit’s inherent hardness and resistance to bruising makes it ideal for shipping — and for packing into lunchboxes.

Eaten raw, these apples have have a pleasing tart flavor and a crisp, watery texture. The skin can be tough, so it’s nice to either peel the fruit before eating or slice it into very thin wedges. Granny Smiths pair well with sharp cheeses, making them a welcome addition to cheese plates and antipasti platters. They are our apple of choice when it comes to making a good Farmers Lunch Sandwich.

But Granny Smiths also put on quite a show in the baking department. They hold their shape well during cooking and their tart flavor balances the sweetness in dessert recipes. Cobblers, pies, cakes, muffins, and tarts are all the better for a Granny Smith in the mix. You can use them all on their own or in combination with other apples for a more rounded apple flavor.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

Are you a fan of Granny Smith apples? What do you use them for?

Related: Brunch Party Idea: Baked Apples with Yogurt