Why Are Granny Smith Apples Sour? Fully Explained!

Last Updated on July 15, 2022 by

The Granny Smith apple is the first cultivar that comes to mind when you think of sour apples. Their distinct tart taste distinguishes them from other apple cultivars. So, why are granny smith apples sour?

Granny Smith apples are sour because they are low in sugar and strong in fruit acids. The acidity level of an apple determines the sweet-sour taste balance. Malic acid contributes to the sourness and cuts through the sweetness. As a result, Granny Smith apples have a tart taste. 

Why Are Granny Smith Apples Sour

There are about 7500 distinct apple types around the globe. Each variation differs from the others due to subtle but noticeable variances in form, size, and taste. As a result, each kind of apple has distinct characteristics. Sweet and sour are the two dominant tastes of apples. The balance of these two tastes will determine their flavor.

Apples are sweet because they contain fruit sugars such as fructose. They also include natural acids such as malic acid, which contribute to their sourness. When the acid content of an apple is high, the sourness level rises. The apple’s high acid level also lends it a crunchy taste. Very delicious apples now have high sugar content. They will be delicate and delicious until their acid levels break through this sweetness.

So, why are granny smith apples sour? The pH level of Granny Smith apples is 3.2, which is lower than that of most other types. This results in increased acidity and a pronounced sourness. Malic acid and ascorbic acid are two kinds of acids found in abundance in apples.

Malic acid is much sourer than ascorbic acid. It leaves an acidic aftertaste on the tongue that lasts for a long time. Granny Smith apples are very sour due to their high malic acid content. Because of the strong acidic flavor, it’s impossible to consume this fruit raw without puckering up. The presence of tannin is another element that influences the sourness degree. Tannin is found in many fruit skins. Tannins in Granny Smith apple peels add to their acidity. The thick peel also contributes to the crispiness of these apples.

How To Use Sour Granny Smith Apples?

Granny Smith apples are popular in salads and as a raw snack. However, not everyone like the sour flavor and acidic aftertaste. Granny Smith apples are more often used in cooking and baking. Because they do not dissolve while baking, their texture works well in baked items. Here are some examples of how you can put them to use.

1. Pies

The most excellent apple pie is prepared with sour apples. The sourness of Granny Smith apples is softened by cooking, allowing the sweetness to show. It’s fantastic in pies and other apple-based delicacies.

2. Cider

Cider is an excellent method to employ sour apples such as Granny Smiths. Granny Smith apples’ sour flavors and crispiness provide a zesty punch to cider, making it more refreshing. To extract cider from these apples, use a cider press or a juicer.

3. Applesauce

Technically, any apple may be used to produce applesauce. However, if you favor sour applesauce, Granny Smith is the kind to try. The sourness of these apples decreases but does not vanish with cooking. It combines beautifully with the apple’s sweet undertones to produce a delightful sauce with diverse tastes.

4. Muffins And Cakes

Granny Smith apples may be used to make cakes and muffins. Their strong acid level keeps the meat from decomposing into mush. As a result, they can resist the heat of the cooktop and oven without deforming. They also offer the perfect moisture to make a cake soft and moist without becoming mushy. Granny Smith’s sweet-sour taste balance makes it an excellent option for cakes. It may be used alone or with other apple types to create more subtle tastes.

5. Apple Crumble

Because of their sweet and tangy qualities, Granny Smith apples are a good option for apple crumble. This, along with the crunchy texture of the crumble topping, results in a delectable dessert. Because these apples have solid flesh, they won’t discharge much liquid into the base. As a result, the dessert will retain its shape.

6. Salads

Because of their distinct taste, Granny Smith apples are a fantastic addition to salads. Salads benefit from their crunchy bite as well. The sweet and sour tastes combine nicely with vegetables like onions and cucumbers to produce a pleasant symphony of sensations. As a result, it makes an excellent salad component and is ideal for summer.

7. Caramel Apples

In caramel apples, the biting acidity of Granny Smith apples contrasts nicely with the crisp sweetness of caramel sauce. The end product is a delicious autumn treat.

What Do Granny Smith Apples Taste Like?

Granny Smith apples have many distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from other apples. It’s also a highly versatile apple, with several applications in cooking and baking. One of the primary reasons for its widespread usage is its distinct flavor character. It’s incredibly sour and highly acidic.

This apple’s acidic character also makes it crunchy. It’s brimming with fluids and has a strong flavor. Surprisingly, the taste of this apple is affected by its storage circumstances. Granny Smith apples are best when plucked fresh. With time, the flavor softens, and the sharpness fades. It never becomes delicious.

On the other hand, the acidity decreases, and the tastes become more balanced. As the apple ripens in storage, its color changes as well. The skin gets a faint yellow hue over time. Granny Smith apples are exceptionally crisp and have a balanced flavor when completely ripe. Although it will still be sour, you will notice undertones of sweetness. The tree’s environment influences the tastes of the Granny Smith cultivar. Fruits grown in areas where temperatures do not dip below freezing are less sour.

How To Make Granny Smith Apples Less Sour?

Granny Smith apples may be eaten raw. However, due to their intense acidity, they are not the finest apples to eat raw. They are often used in cooking and baking as an all-purpose apple. The rich, acidic notes and subtle sweetness combine to produce a sophisticated flavor profile that works well in cooked and baked goods.

Many individuals now find it difficult to consume Granny Smith apples uncooked. When you bite into it, the powerful tartness may cause you to pucker. However, there is a simple approach to reducing the acidity of this apple. You may slice the apple and season it with salt. Salt will enhance the sweetness while reducing the sourness. 

Although there is no scientific explanation for why this occurs, chefs and home cooks have successfully used this approach for years. As a result, you should use this procedure to make Granny Smith apples less sour.

Tips For Buying Granny Smith Apples

Granny Smith apples may be found at supermarkets and grocery shops such as Kroger, Walmart, and Target. They taste best when bought fresh from the orchard or producer at the farmers’ market. These apples hold their taste well in industrial storage and are an excellent season for out-of-season tart apples.

Granny Smith apples are around $1 per pound. A pound contains two or three Granny Smith apples. When bought in quantity at the store, individual apples cost roughly 50 cents. A deli or coffee shop may charge them $1-$2.

Can You Eat Granny Smiths Raw?

Yes, you can. When eaten fresh, these apples have a delightful acidic flavor and a crisp, watery texture. Because the fruit’s skin might be hard, it’s preferable to peel it before eating it or slice it into skinny wedges. Granny Smiths go nicely with sharp cheeses, making them ideal for cheese dishes and antipasti platters.

What Is The Harvest Season For Granny Smith Apples

Granny Smith apple harvest season happens each year in early fall. Around the United States, Granny Smith apples are often picked in September. The cultivar ripens in the southern hemisphere between March and May. The earliest apples of the season are often rather sour, with sweetness increasing with time on the tree. A ripe Granny Smith apple is green, when overripe, the apple becomes somewhat yellow.

Is It Okay If I Eat A Green Apple At Night?

When you consume apples late at night or evening, this pro-digestive fruit may work against you and strain your digestive system. This suggests that eating apples late at night will result in gas and discomfort in the morning.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Green Apples?

Green apples are high in fiber, which assists in the body’s metabolic process. There are several health advantages to eating an apple with its peel. Because of its high fiber content, apple assists in the detoxification process. It protects the liver and digestive system from toxins.

Conclusion On Why Are Granny Smith Apples Sour

Granny Smith apples are a famous tart cultivar with brilliant green peel and a sour flavor. Granny Smith apples are quite sour. This famous cultivar, discovered in 1800s Australia, is often eaten fresh and is also popular in baking, making it an excellent all-purpose apple. Granny Smith apples are one of the world’s most popular because of their crisp texture and fresh acidic flavor.