Your Guide to Heirloom Apples

Scott Farm’s Heirloom Apples

Ananas Reinette – This small, yellow-skinned apple was grown in France in the 1500’s. It has a zesty, pineapple, citrus flavor and flesh that has a fine grain texture. Translated into English, this would mean the “royal pineapple.”

Calville Blanc d’Hiver – A 15th century French apple that has a vanilla-like flavor and a wonderful texture when cooked. Of all the French apples Calville Blanc is considered the best to cook with because of its resiliency. 

Blue Pearmain – A New England apple dating to the early 1800’s. Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal about his preference for Blue Pearmain. The crisp, rich flavor makes it a good apple for fresh eating and baking.

Gravenstein – A very old apple from Italy. The combination of both tart and sweet flavors makes this a wonderful culinary apple as well as a sprightly flavored eating apple.

Rhode Island Greening – This apple was grown by Mr. Greening at his Inn and Tavern near Newport, Rhode Island. Although it is a good eating apple, it excels in baked goods. Pies made with this apple have won awards all over the world. Legend has it that this variety came from the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden.

Roxbury Russet – The oldest American apple variety, this apple has a nectar-like flavor that is similar to guava. It has a very high sugar content though you may not notice it due to the acids. Cider made from this apple is like syrup, it is so thick.

Northern Spy – The best use for this apple is for cooking, though it is admired for eating out of hand as well. Introduced in the late 1800’s it was named after James Fenimore Cooper’s novel, “The Spy,” which was very popular during this time.

Baldwin – A handsome, deep red apple originally from Massachusetts in the early 1700’s. There is a monument in Wilmington, MA where the original tree grew. This variety was the major New England apple until the 1930’s when a terrible freeze killed most of the trees. It is a hard apple, sometimes referred to as the woodpecker. It has the quintessential apple flavor and back in the day when pie was made for breakfast, it was a very hardy meal.

Cox’s Orange Pippin – The most popular of English apples, it has been awarded the highest honors by the Royal Horticultural Society. It was originally grown from seed (hence the name Pippin) in 1825 by an amateur horticulturist named Richard Cox. It has a tart, citrus flavor exquisitely tempered by a sweet pear flavor. It is excellent for eating and cooking. 

Notes courtesy of Scott Farm Orchards

By Diego Maldonado