Apple Variety Guide

Are you wondering what apple holds up best in pie, or which apples to choose for fresh snacks or chunked up in salad?

We’ve created a handy Apple Variety Guide with some characteristics and suggested uses for the many apples we grow here at King Orchards.  The apples are listed in the approximate order in which they are harvested. You can also download a pdf version of our apple variety guide to print and save at home.

Apples We Grow

Ginger Gold – early September

Oh, do we love this early-ripening apple. A sweet, firm Golden Delicious-type variety, everyone loves this new gourmet apple.

Paula Red  – early September
A beautiful variety that originated right here in Michigan. The best early season snacking apple, perfect for back-to-school lunches.

Jersey Mac – late August
A good choice for McIntosh lovers who are getting impatient for the Macs to ripen; another good choice for school lunches.

Gala  – mid-September
Another high quality gourmet dessert apple with an outstanding flavor. It is a great eating apple and cooks well, too.

McIntosh – mid to late September
Our favorite traditional apple. Excellent for eating fresh, in pies, salads, and sauce, you can’t go wrong with McIntosh.

Jonagold late September
A unique combination of Jonathon tartness and Golden Delicious sweetness, juicy and crunchy, great for fresh eating and cooking.

Cortlandlate September
A surprisingly good eating, tangy old fashioned apple, Cortland is also famous for cooking and baking. Cortlands are resistant to browning, which makes them especially good for salads. We have many customers who love them for applesauce too. Leave the skins on while cooking, then run the apples through the food mill or ricer, and your sauce will turn a naturally pretty shade of pink.

Honeycrisp – late September
Honeycrisp apples are considered by many to be the greatest fresh eating apple of all time. It is very crisp and has a sweetness that really is reminiscent of honey.  We’ve heard our Honeycrisp apples referred to as, “the best thing to ever grow on a tree!”

Empire – late September
This a great kid’s apple. It juicy and crunchy and not too big (perfect for small hands).

Mutsu – early October
Also known as Crispin, this is the apple we recommend for those who want “hard and tart”.   Mutsu apples are also some of our best keepers.

Golden Delicious – early October
Thin-skinned, crisp, firm, juicy flesh, with a unique aroma and flavor. When cooking it allows you to use less sugar in recipes.

Northern Spy Apple

Northern Spy – early October
“Spies for pies!” This famous 200 year old variety has been considered by some experts to be the best apple ever produced in the United States. One of the best cooking apples, Spy is a tangy, juicy fresh eating apple, too.

Ida Red – mid October
Hard and tart, big and red; that describes this apple. It is an exceptional variety for it’s keeping quality and wonderful for cooking.

If you need help selecting the right apple for yourself, or to ship as a gift to send a friend or loved one, don’t hesitate to drop us a line, or call us toll-free at 1-877-937-5464.


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Visit King Orchards in Northwest Lower Michigan for Amazing Fruit and Bake Goods!

King Orchards

4620 N M-88
Central Lake, Michigan



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