Early Apples

Each region has its first early apple.  In New York it is Yellow Transparent, ripening the end of May (it ripens here in September; go figure).  It has a thin, opalescent skin, turning a pale yellowish-green.  It goes from green and tart to ripe, sweet, and mushy in about five minutes, and keeps about as long off the tree.  It is usually cooked into sauce.

Our early apples are Anna and Dorsett Golden, ripening about a week or two after school lets out in mid-June.  The maniac above is a two-year-old Dorsett Golden, with a typical crop.  Next year it will have twice as many branches and I will have to prop each one of them up, as they will be full of apples. 

The apples are decent, with the poorly-colored ones in the shade being superior (go figure).  They are tender, crisp, juicy, sweet with a bit of tart and a nice finish.  We’ve juiced them for cider, and when mixed with Anna, it is really weird to taste a half-decent cider in June.  Cider is a worthy use as the tree will bear a billion of them and they only keep two or three weeks, pretty good for a summer apple.  I received a flyer from missionaries in Honduras that helped some indigenous people there grow Dorsett Golden and set up a cider pressing and bottling business.  They also hold up well in pies, and we liked them chopped up and mixed in ice cream, flavored with a bit of cider also.

It was discovered in the Bahamas, and will grow just about anywhere that doesn’t get spring frosts, from California to the tropics.  It will bear apples as soon as it sprouts, this tiny 12″ tall tree bent over double with a big apple hanging from the tip.  The blossoms are gorgous, pink against the bright green tiny leaves, usually the end of January.  Not the highest flavored apple in the orchard, but admirable and worth growing none the less.

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