Apple Varieties

Our apples in alphabetical order, with notes so you can learn more about them:

 Braeburn:

Streaky red in color, fully mature Braeburns are a deep, ruddy red, and often tall in shape. Pale yellow flesh; very solid texture. Tart and flavorful; an excellent eating apple, and outstanding in pies because of its firmness and lively taste. Ripens very late in the season (mid-October), and keeps very well when stored. This apple variety comes from a chance seedling found near Braeburn, New Zealand in 1952. Now recognized as one of the ten best apple varieties in the world, its parentage is unknown, but is suspected to be a combination of Lady Williams, Cox Orange Pippin, and Granny Smith.

 

Cortland:

Red-striped on a pale green or creamy background, a large apple with a squat shape. Bright white flesh which doesn’t oxidize (turn brown) quickly, so it remains appealing when sliced or cut into salads. Savory yet sweet flavor, and very juicy. Often used in pies, sometimes combined with other, firmer apple varieties. Also good for sauce. Cortlands are also some folks' favorite eating apple ! Developed in Geneva, New York in 1898, as a cross between McIntosh and Ben Davis. Ripens in midSeptember; usually available into October.

Cortland

 
 

Creston:

Red blush or streaks on a yellow background; firm, crisp yellow flesh with a good, solid texture. Juicy, with a unique, refreshing taste. Great for eating, and good for pies and other baking because of its firmness, flavor and often large size. Ripen in mid- to late-season, usually October. Crestons were bred in British Columbia, Canada, in the early 1980’s from Golden Delicious and an experimental Canadian variety. They’re much more than just another yellow apple ...

Empire:

A very round, shiny-red apple, often with white highlights; medium size. Creamy white flesh; crisp, juicy and sweet. A favorite for snacking with everyone who likes an apple with “snap” to it, also a good choice for salads. Firmer than McIntosh when used in pies, combine them with a tarter apple such as Liberty for a fuller taste. Empires are usually ready in early to mid-October. This apple was developed in 1966 at Cornell University (in New York, the Empire State !), as a cross between McIntosh and Delicious.

Fortune:

A large, round apple with a deep red color, sometimes with a bit of light-colored speckles. Firm, creamy yellow flesh, with a tart-but-sweet flavor described as “aromatic” and “spicy.” Size, firmness and flavor make this a favorite baking apple, but don’t overlook it for eating out of hand. These apples usually arrive in mid-October. Fortunes were also bred at Cornell University, from Northern (or Scoharie) Spy and Empire (which is actually a McIntosh / Delicious cross); that’s good Fortune for us !

Empire

 
 

Fuji:

A medium-sized, rounded apple with deep-pink-to-reddish stripes or blush on a pale green background. Very firm, crisp, fine-grained texture and quite juicy, pale green to pale yellow flesh. Sweet yet tart, a perfect snacking apple that also bakes nicely. Most of our Fujis ripen quite late in the season. Fuji apples were bred in 1939 in Japan (and named for the famous mountain), from Red Delicious crossed with Ralls Janet. Stored in your fridge, Fuji apples stay crisp for months; stock up !

Fuji

Gala:

A bright yellow apple with an equally-bright red blush; stand back, and it’s an orange-gold glow. Round, small to medium in size; sweet and crunchy. These early-season apples (at the beginning of September, but their season lasts a good few weeks) are perfect in the kids’ lunch-boxes or yours ! Galas can also be used in baking: pies, cakes, crisps, wherever you want a firm apple that keeps its shape; they’re not so good for sauce, for that same reason. For an early season apple, they store well in your fridge. Galas are from New Zealand; they were developed in 1937 from Golden Delicious and Kidd's Orange; they came to the U.S. in the late 1960’s.

Ginger Gold:

Medium to large, round, yellow or yellow-green apple with yellow flesh; when they first come in, they have a tangy (“gingery”) taste but then get mellower. Mostly an eating apple, their taste shows up best when fresh rather than cooked, but they can also be used for sauce or in baking. These are the first apples of our season, often available by mid-August. Enjoy them while they’re here as a late-summer treat, don’t try to store them very long. Reportedly discovered in Virginia in 1969, when hurricane Camille damaged the orchard of Ginger and Clyde Harvey, this variety has come north to grow in New England orchards, too.

Gala

Ginger Gold

 
 
 

Golden Delicious:

A pale yellow apple with a “tall” shape, medium to large size. Look for tiny freckles (lenticels) on mature apples, and sometimes a bit of pink blush if the nights are cool before the apples are harvested. Golden flesh, smooth texture and very juicy, with a mellow sweet flavor and aroma. A favorite eating apple, and versatile for baking: pies, tarts, cakes, and a good choice for applesauce if you like yours “golden.” Goldens are a late-season apple, arriving in mid- to late-October; the cool weather makes their flavor even better. These apples also keep very well. Discovered as a chance seedling in West Virginia around 1900, their parentage is unknown, but they’re not likely related to Red Delicious.

Honeycrisp:

A rounded, shiny, medium-sized apple, reddish streaks with a pale yellow-green background. Pale creamy flesh, exceptionally juicy. The name describes it: strongly sweet with a great crunch. An excellent eating apple, it would likely also be a highlight in baking recipes. Our Honeycrisps are likely to be early- to mid-season; watch for them ! Honeycrisp was developed at the University of Minnesota beginning in the 1960’s & ‘70’s, but became more popular very recently; its parentage includes Macoun and Golden Delicious -- what a mix !

Jonagold:

Very large, tall and handsome, pale green to pale yellow with a prominent bright red blush -- the sign of a mature, ripe apple. Yellow flesh, solidly firm and juicy. Tangy-sweet flavor, perfect for baking as well as eating; its firmness makes it one of the best pie apples. Jonagolds are ready by midseason (early October); they keep very well in your fridge. Another product of Geneva, New York, Jonagolds were developed in 1968 as a cross between Jonathan and Golden Delicious.

Kinsei:

Pale yellow and freckled (with lenticels), a small- to medium-sized apple; develops a slight pink blush when the nights turn cool while it’s still on the tree. Kinsei has a rich, buttery texture and a sweet but complex taste sometimes described as “tropical.” Lovely for eating, this apple can also be used in baking. They ripen late in the season (near the end of October), and are said to taste best after the first light frost. As a late season apple, they keep well. Kinsei apples originated in Japan, developed from 1954 to the early 1970’s as a cross between Golden Delicious and Ralls Janet. “Kinsei” in Japanese refers to the “golden” planet Venus.

Golden Delicious

Honeycrisp

Jonagold

 
 
 
 

Liberty:

Deep red, medium-sized apple with yellow flesh; crisp, solid texture and quite juicy. Very tart early in the season, Liberty apples gradually become sweeter when kept in cold storage or when picked later. Good for eating, and a good addition to pies for their firmness and flavor. Liberty is a mid-season apple. One more product of Cornell University’s research labs (think New York State and the Statue of Liberty), Liberty is a cross that includes Macoun. If you love Macouns, try this relative for a bit more zing !

Macoun:

Shiny, with dark red streaks on a green background, Macouns can also be recognized by their boxy shape and very short stems. Pale green to white flesh, sweet, juicy with a truly crisp “snap.” Loyal Macoun fans pick and eat them fresh by the bushel; they’re a good choice for salads because of their texture, and we hear they’re good for pies and crisp also. Macouns arrive by mid-September and linger a few weeks; they don’t store exceptionally well, so enjoy them in season. Their heritage: McIntosh (hence the red and green colors) crossed with Jersey Black for firmness, developed at Cornell in the 1920’s. Macouns went public in the 1940’s, and since the ‘70’s have been one of New England’s most popular apples because our climate suits them perfectly

Liberty

Macoun

 
 

McIntosh:

The familiar “Mac” -- very round, shiny red on a green background, medium-sized. Pale green flesh early in the season, whiter later in the season, when the apples themselves get redder -- and sweeter. Crisp, juicy, a favorite snacking apple and they make excellent applesauce (use very red Macs, leave the skin on and then run through a food mill for pink applesauce !). Macs are often used in pie because they “juice up” well; an all-Mac pie will have a softer filling, so mix them with firmer varieties if you prefer. We have several varieties of Macs, beginning in early September and running well into October; they love the New England weather. All this from a chance seedling found in Ontario, Canada in 1811 by -- John McIntosh.

Mutsu (also called Crispin):

Very large apples (these are our biggest), green for most of the season but turning yellow when they get very, very ripe (on the tree or in storage). Yellow flesh, with a very dense, grainy texture; juicy, and with a full-bodied, savory flavor that some say also has hints of anise. A great eating apple (just one makes a meal !), good in salads and/or with cheese; Mutsus are also superb for pies and other baking. They ripen late in the season (typically mid-October); they will keep for months in cold storage, and if picked and cold-stored before they turn yellow they will retain their green color. This amazing apple is a cross between Golden Delicious and a Japanese apple named Indo. If you want a green apple with a good, strong taste, pick Mutsu.

Paula Red:

A dusky, dark red, almost purple sheen, with a hint of green in the background; these round apples are medium- to large-sized. Creamy white flesh, crispy and juicy; they look somewhat like (and may be related to) Macs, but have a fuller, tangier flavor. Delicious eating, and an early season option for sauce and pies. Paula Reds are among our earliest apples, arriving before Labor Day. As an early season apple, they keep only a few weeks in cold storage; use them up while they’re here ! First discovered in an orchard of Macs in Michigan in the 1960s.

Pink Beauty:

We call it what it is: a large, tall-shaped apple with a pink-to-cherry-red complexion on a pale green background. Creamy yellow flesh, delicate sweet taste (“somewhat plum-like,” says the farmer). Eat these apples fresh as a dessert; they don’t hold their shape in pies. Their season is late September - early October; they’ll keep a few weeks in cold storage, but are best eaten in season. Another recently developed apple from British Columbia, their official name is still “BC 14-56,” but we like to call them Pink Beauties. And we’ve never seen them anywhere else around here ...

McIntosh

Mutsu

Paula Red

 
 
 
 

Red Delicious:

Famous for its shape and color, a tall, dark-red apple with tiny, light-colored speckles and yellow flesh. It began as an apple called the Hawkeye, discovered as a seedling on a farm in Iowa in the 1870’s, and eventually became popular nationwide. Locally-grown Red Delicious has a completely different taste than what gets shipped to supermarkets from the Pacific Northwest; our “Hawkeyes” come from Grampa’s backyard. They ripen in early-to-mid October, and make a good eating apple, pretty and tasty in salads for their bright color and mellow flavor. Not a baking apple, but excellent for making dried apple snacks. If stored carefully in your fridge, they will keep several weeks.

Red Delicious

 
 

Rubinette:

A small, russeted (rough-skinned) apple, with reddish streaks on a golden background. Yellow, fine-grained flesh; nice texture and a sharp, tart yet sweet, exciting taste -- like cider itself. The perfect size for snacks, Rubinettes can also be used in baking when you want an apple that will be tender yet retain its shape: in pies, cakes, tarts. Also excellent for drying. Our Rubinettes are usually available from mid-October to the end of the season. This apple variety originated in Switzerland as a cross between Golden Delicious and Cox’s Orange Pippin.

Zestar:

Medium to large, very round apple; soft-to-bright red on pale green background. Crisp, slightly grainy white flesh, and a wake-you-up taste that has to be called “zesty” (some say “sprightly”) ! Terrific for fresh eating, firm enough for pie. This new apple, just developed at the University of Minnesota in 1998, ripens in early- to mid-September, adding to our beginning-of-theseason offerings. Check it out, let us know what you like best about it; we think we’ve got a real ZeSTAR here !

Zestar

 

Our apples grouped in "approximate" (not precise !) order of ripening:

be sure to ask ahead of time about your favorites, so you don't miss them !

 

  • EARLIEST: just before & after Labor Day Ginger Gold / Zestar / Paula Red / Gala

  • NEXT: early to mid-September, sometimes still available in early October McIntosh / Cortland / Macoun

  • MID-SEASON: later September Honeycrisp / Liberty

  • LATER: very late September & early October Creston / Jonagold / Pink Beauty / Empire / Rubinette

  • LATE SEASON: these love the cool October weather ! Golden Delicious / Red Delicious / Fortune / Mutsu / Kinsei / Fuji / Braeburn