Anyone that has followed my apple content for a while knows I'm obsessed with late hanging apples. In this video I'm tasting 9 late winter apples, mostly off the tree and a few out of storage. Results below.
Some favorites, roughly in order.
1. Katherine. Named for early 20th century apple breeder Albert Etter's wife, this is an exceptional apple. It hangs very late and seems to be at it's best sometime in December. This late specimen has a rich multi-dimensional flavor. It was popular at new year dinner last night, one person described it as like wine. The flavor is not very describable, but it's deep and sophisticated. Earlier, it is often less complex and just pleasantly flavored. It has an unbeatable texture when it's at it's best, with a very light crisp flesh and plenty of juice. This would be in my top 10 apples as grown here. I have never stored it to speak of.
2. Whitwick Pippin: This beats out Katherine for intensity and any one person might easily prefer it to that apple. It is more intensely flavored, complex, quite sweet but also acidic. The texture at this time of year is better and I suspect it will prove to be a later hanger in the long run. I only scored Katherine higher because I am more compelled to eat it for whatever reasons and I would never argue with that.
3. Gold Rush: Even out of storage, this scores 3rd, although Lady Williams would likely go in this spot if it were ripe. These have held good texture and although they have picked up or developed some off flavors in the fridge, they are quite good, with a forward acidity, plenty of sugar and plenty going on in the flavor department. Thumbs up for a storage apple.
4: Pomo Sanel: Some specimens at this apple at this time will beat some specimens of Gold Rush, but today, gold rush won by a small margin. This is a very rare apple discovered locally. It bears some resemblance and eating characteristics to gold rush and it seems quite possible that it is from the same grimes' golden/golden delicious line that Gold rush is part of. Pomo Sanel is more rubbery in texture and will hold it's shape very well when cooked. I threw a slice in my coconut milk shrimp soup base the other day and let it boil for a while and it held up very well. I think you could probably get away with canning it for apple pie filling.
5. Hauer Pippin: I've not been able to get super excited about this apple, but it has some good characteristics. It is a rare apple outside of Northern and Central California. It was originally discovered in Central California and is rare outside of this state, though I hear it was grown commercially at one time. It is a very beautiful apple and hangs well to the tree through the first half of winter. The flavor is somewhat odd to me, but this specimen makes me think I should keep a branch of it.
Lady Williams would be higher on this list if it were ripe now, but it is a couple weeks too early. It may even deserve to be before Hauer Pippin, even now.
More apples could be on this list, those are just the ones I had to taste on this new years day. Here is a previous video on some of the same apples and others.