Heirloom Apples

Heirloom Fruit Varieties

(Click here to see the approximate harvest time of each variety)

 

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Abermarle Pippin
Abermarle Pippin: Known to be the best of all Virginia heirloom apples. Developed in the early 1700's, it was so good that it was the only food commodity exempt from crown import tax. This was because it was also the favorite of Queen Victoria! Grown in large quantity by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. It has a rich, crisp somewhat piney flavor. Circulated throughout Virginia by one of George Washington's officers during the war against the French in 1755. A wonderful eating and baking apple, the Abermarle is also a most historical variety!
Arkansas Black
Arkansas Black: This unique apple dates to 1870's Arkansas. It is a lively red color, deepening to a purplish black when ripe. Known for a hard, slick exterior, apple expert Tom Burford remembers being warned as a boy not to hit anyone in the head with it, as it could kill! It is juicy, with a distinctive aromatic flavor.
Ashmead's Kernel
Ashmead's Kernel: One of the very best of the old European apples from the late 1600's to early 1700's, this small to medium sized apple has an outstanding rich, high flavor. It is rated for the connoisseur, and has not been offered commercially. Sharp flavor, with a wonderful aftertaste. It has green, russeted skin and crisp, juicy flesh.
calville_blanc
Calville Blanc:  This world renowned dessert apple dates from 16th century France. Its’ flattened round shape makes it distinctive looking, so much that Monet put it in his 1879 painting “Apples and Grapes”. It has a tart, effervescent flavor, and is good for eating. Claims to be the “best apple pie apple grown”. Higher in Vitamin C than an orange.
Cortland
Cortland: The Cortland heirloom apple was developed in 1898 by Professor S.A. Beach of New York. It is another high quality red apple, which often will have dark red streaks on the outside. Inside you will find a crisp, white flesh and a somewhat tart, sweet flavor. Very juicy. A good salad apple because it does not brown for hours after slicing.
Cox's Orange Pippin
Cox's Orange Pippin: This heirloom apple still dominates the English markets. Got its name from creator Richard Cox, a retired brewery worker in the early 1800's. The skin takes on an orange tinge at ripening. Has a juicy, nutty taste and firm flesh. This variety is good for all around use; both in cooking, juicing and eating fresh.
Golden Russet
Golden Russet: An old American cider apple, believed to have sprouted from a seed of English Russet. Skin turns a golden bronze when ripe. Also good for eating and drying. Crisp yellow, sugary flesh of very good quality.
Gravenstein
Gravenstein: The Gravenstein is considered to be one of the best all-around heirloom apples for baking, cooking and eating. It has a sweet, tart flavor and juicy, crisp texture. The Gravenstein is native to Denmark, discovered in 1699. It traveled to America with Russian fur traders, who planted Gravenstein orchards at Fort Ross in the early 1800's.
Grimes Golden
Grimes Golden: If you are a Golden Delicious fan, try the parent, Grimes Golden. A clear, deep yellow skin covers a fine grained, spicy flesh. Very juicy and excellent for cider. Discovered in Brook County, Virginia in 1804 by Thomas Grimes.
King David
King David: Discovered by farmer Ben Frost on a fence row tree in Arkansas in 1839. Believed to be a cross of Jonathan/Arkansas Black. Cream colored flesh is coarse, crisp and has a spicy, almost wine-like flavor. Suitable for dessert, pie, sauce making and cider.
Mutsu
Mutsu: A late maturing offspring of Golden Delicious from Japan’s breeding program (crossed with an Indo tree seedling brought to Japan by an Indiana school teacher). Renamed ‘Crispin’ in the U.K. and U.S.A. A very large, firm greenish/yellow apple with a sweet cocktail of flavors. Juicy and refreshing, with outstanding dessert qualities. Also known in Japan as the ‘Million Dollar Apple’.
Northern Spy
Northern Spy: An American heirloom apple native to the Northern East Coast discovered around 1800 in East Bloomfield, N.Y. Its name comes from the codename of an Underground Railroad operator, who guided former slaves through New England into Canada. Flavor is especially tart, and flesh is harder and crunchier than most. A consumate pie apple, and an old favorite for eating out of hand. Trees are very slow bearing and can take up to twelve years to produce an alternate bearing crop.
Orleans Reinette
Orleans Reinette: A very old heirloom apple, probably originating in France where it was first described in 1776. Smaller size; round and greenish-yellow color skin with creamy white flesh. Juicy, with a taste of sweet orange followed by a nutty flavor.
Pink Pearl
Pink Pearl: Cut or bite into this heirloom apple and you are in for a surprise. In fact, it is an offspring of another variety called 'Surprise'! Pink fleshed, pearly skinned, good tasting with sweet to tart flavor. Makes pink applesauce and pretty fruit tarts.
Ribston Pippin

Ribston Pippin: This apple was grown in 1708 from one of three 'pips' (seeds) sent from Normandy to Sir Henry Goodricke of Ribston Hall, Yorkshire, England. It has one of the highest Vitamin C contents, 30mg/100mg. Its yellow flesh is firm and sweet, with a pear taste. Ribston is also the parent of Cox's Orange Pippin.

Roxbury Russet
Roxbury Russet: In the early 17th century, Roxbury Massachusetts developed and named the first American apple! An excellent old cider apple, and good for eating. Roxbury Russet is medium sized, elliptical in shape, with a crisp tart flavor. Its russeted skin can exhibit in two or three shades.
Spitzenburg
Spitzenburg: This "apple of connoisseurs" was discovered in upstate N.Y. in the early 1700's. Rumored to be the favorite of Thomas Jefferson, and definitely grown in his orchards at Monticello. Produced in the Hood River Valley, OR in the early 1900's. Rich, fruity aromatic flavor and crisp meat. A great dessert heirloom apple, it is often a favorite at Christmas time.
White Winter Pearmain
White Winter Permain: There is some confusion as to the origin of this apple; some say it originated in Indiana around 1849, others that it came from 1200AD England. Medium to large in size, the White Winter Pearmain has a pale yellow skin with streaks of reddish blush. The skin is waxy and tough. Yellowish flesh is crisp, juicy and tender with a hint of sweetness. One of the premier dessert apples.
Winesap
Winesap: Unknown in origin, this heirloom apple was probably brought in seed form from Europe over 200 years ago. Deep red in color, it was noted as a great cider apple in writings as far back as 1817. Good for pie, sauce and eating out of hand. Flesh is a fruity, crisp yellow; sometimes featuring red streaks on the inside. The blossoms on Winesap trees are mostly pink, instead of white. One of the parents of 'Arkansas Black'.
York Imperial
York Imperial: This apple was originally named “Johnson’s Fine Winter” and originated on the Johnson Farm near York, PA in 1830. Farmer Johnson once watched school children digging out these leaf-covered apples in early spring and found them in remarkably good shape. A local nurseryman called them “imperial keepers” (long lasting) and suggested the name of “York” be changed to “York Imperial”. It has an unusually small core, and is lopsided in appearance. In York County it was also called a ‘schepabbel’ or crooked apple, in the local German dialect. Some of the fruit actually grows on an oblique axis! York Imperial excels in the kitchen, and as a cider apple.
Bartlett
Bartlett: This pear has the classic “pear shape” with a rounded
bottom and gradual neck. They are harvested green and allowed to
ripen in storage where they turn a yellowish color. Smooth texture
and sweet flavor. First grown in England in 1765, they were brought
to Massachusetts in 1799.
Bosc
Bosc: While there is dispute over where the Bosc developed, Belgium or France, it debuted in the U.S. on the east coast in 1832. An elongated neck, and brownish russeted skin makes its appearance unique. The Bosc has firm, dense flesh and is great for baking, cooking and eating fresh.
Comice
Comice: Often called the "Christmas" pear, the Comice is not limited to just the holiday season. Originating in Angers, France in the 1800's, this pear has a sweet buttery taste. Because of its sweetness, it is often included in dessert trays.
Forelle
Forelle: One of the smaller pear varieties, the Forelle usually has red freckles, or lenticles. Originating in the 1600's in Germany, their name means "Trout" in German. They possess a delicious sweet flavor, and a slightly crisp texture. Being somewhat smaller than most pears, they make an excellent snack. They are especially good when cooked.
Green Anjou
Green Anjou: This egg shaped variety originated in 1850's Angers, France. Their sweet, buttery flavor makes them a great snack. Excellent for baking or cooking.
Red Anjou
Red Anjou: Identical to the Green Anjou in every way but skin color, the Red Anjou can offer a striking presentation with its deep, rich maroon color. The variety first appeared as a 'bud sport' on a Green Anjou tree in Parkdale, (Hood River Valley) Oregon.
 

 

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