The best apple pie includes a mixture of apples that are firm in texture but vary in their level of sweetness. Martha Stewart suggests that pie bakers mix tart Granny Smith apples with sweet Braeburn apples.
For other good pie options, bakers can combine tart Rome apples with sweet Honeycrisp or Northern Spy with Jonagold. Tender apples that become mushy when cooked, such as Gala, Macintosh and Fuji, should be avoided. A simple test to determine whether an apple variety is good for pie baking is to cover the apple slices with a paper towel and then microwave them for two to three minutes. If they retain their shape and texture, they are a good variety for pie.