I baked two pies for Christmas dinner this evening: one cherry and one apple. I adore apples in every form -- baked, caramelized, in dumplings or pies, or just eaten out of hand.
I know from experience and from my reading that MacIntosh apples are wonderful for making applesauce, but disasterous for baking in a pie. MacIntoshes don't hold their shape well and turn bland and mushy in a pie.
Tonight, unfortunately, another relative baked a pie with MacIntosh apples. It did not come out well. My pie was tasty (based on voluntary praise from a houseful of eaters). I wish I could attribute this to my culinary skills, but it really boils down to the variety of apples I used -- a combination of Granny Smith and Fuji apples.
All of you apple-pie bakers out there, heed this warning. Buy MacIntoshes for homemade applesauce, but don't dare use them for pie.