Granny Smith apples are small to medium fruits, averaging 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter, and range in shape from round, oval, to conical. The skin is smooth, firm, chewy, and thick, remaining bright green when ripe and covered in tiny, white lenticels. In colder climates, the apples may also develop a yellow to pink blush. Underneath the surface, the white flesh is dense, crisp, and mildly aqueous with a fine, grainy consistency, encasing a central, fibrous core filled with small, brown-black seeds. Granny Smith apples have a balanced, sweet and acidic flavor with tangy, tart undertones.
Granny Smith apples are available year-round.
Granny Smith apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are bright green, tart fruits belonging to the Rosaceae family. The crisp, firm apples were discovered in the late 19th century growing naturally as a sport, or spontaneous mutation in Australia, and with their introduction into national markets in the 20th century, Granny Smith apples have become one of the most recognizable varieties around the world. Granny Smith apples have ranked in the top five commercially grown varieties within the United States and Australia and were one of the first varieties exported globally for sale in supermarkets, favored for their long shelf life and thick, transportable skin. In the modern-day, the green apples are still considered a versatile variety, bearing a balanced, sweet, and acidic flavor that can be utilized in both fresh and cooked applications.
Granny Smith apples are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation in the body, increase collagen production, and boost the immune system. The fruits are also a good source of fiber to regulate the digestive tract and provide lower amounts of iron, vitamin A, and calcium.
Granny Smith apples are best suited for both raw and cooked applications, including baking or roasting. When fresh, the crisp apples provide a tart flavor that is primarily enjoyed fresh, out-of-hand. The flesh can be sliced and tossed into green salads, quartered and displayed on fruit platters, sliced and served with nut butter, blended into smoothies, or thinly sliced and layered into sandwiches. The fruits are also dipped in caramel and served as a fresh dessert. In addition to raw applications, Granny Smith apples are popularly used in cakes, cobblers, crisps, and pies, as the flesh holds its shape when cooked and does not discolor rapidly. The green apples can also be used in soups, cooked into pancakes, blended into applesauce, or juiced for cider. Granny Smith apples pair well with sharp cheeses such as blue, feta, and gorgonzola, meats such as poultry, pork, and beef, arugula, spinach, potatoes, beets, and fruits such as banana, citrus, and pineapple. Whole Granny Smith apples will keep 4 to 8 weeks when stored unwashed in the refrigerator's crisper drawer.