Apple Varieties To Try This Fall
Meet Mutsu Crispin, Arkansas Black, and Hubbardston Nonesuch. No, they’re not Harry Potter characters—they’re apple varieties! You can always count on us to bring you the best (and most unique) produce in season, and sometimes that means going beyond your basic Granny Smiths.
Read on to learn all about these special varieties, and how best to enjoy them.
Hudson’s Golden Gem
Hudson’s Golden Gems are part of the russet apple family. This just means that the outer skin is a bit rough and patchy compared to the shiny, glossy apple skins you might be used to. True to their name, these apples are indeed yellow in color and even have a conical shape to them.
They’re said to be the best tasting russet apple and are perfect for plain old eating, right out of the bag, because of their sweet, pear-like flavor. Their sweetness also lends perfectly to cider making and baking.
With such a dramatic name, you’d expect a dramatic apple. And that’s exactly what you get with an Arkansas Black. Ranging from a dark vivid red to a deep moody purple skin, this apple is known for its tart flavor. This is a great apple to purchase in bulk while it’s in season because it can be stored for months.
Because of its sweet-tart flavor, it’s a favorite for cooking, sautéing, and baking. Hello, apple pie and cobblers! The flavor of the Arkansas Black also pairs well with winter squash, pecans, cranberries, vanilla, thyme, sage, cinnamon and cardamom.
Mountain Rose Apple
Like the Pink Pearl, the Mountain Rose Apple is a sight to see when slicing up. It does have a rosy-pinkish tint on the outside but the inside is where it earns its name: you’ll find a bright pink, almost red flesh.
What do with such a beautiful apple? Cook it up, of course. Add a Mountain Rose Apple to your next apple tart or pastry—it will actually keep its color no matter how much you cook or bake it! You can even make pink applesauce. So if you’re looking for a pop of color in your next meal, this is the apple to go for.
Pageant beauty queen or late harvest apple? The Sierra Beauty is a popular apple in Northern California. It’s also one of Stan Devoto’s favorites of the season:
“The Sierra Beauty's flesh is fine textured, firm, crisp with sweet-tart flavor. It's great for eating and for pies. A true California heirloom."
Red blushed with hints of yellow, this apple is as juicy and crisp as can be. They can be sliced and baked, hollowed out and stuffed, battered and fried or slow cooked into a sauce. Their sweetness complements cookies, pies and tarts.
If you have a Mutsu Crispin in hand, you’re holding a million dollar apple. At least that’s what the nickname for this variety is in Japan, because of its unique flavor. When biting into one of these golden-green beauties you’ll find a firm and crisp apple with a sweet-tart kick. Pop one in the fridge for a bit and let it get cold before eating it.. The flavor will intensify and leave you with a refreshing snack.
A sweet-tart apple calls for a good dessert and that’s why the Mutsu Crispin is known as an excellent apple for baking. Try this one for an extra special apple pie or crumble!
Sandy beaches and turquoise water might come in mind when you come across a name like this one, but this particular apple doesn’t actually come from Hawaii. They’re a locally-adapted variety grown on Stan Devoto’s farm in Sebastopol, CA.
Yellow with pink-orange stripes; they’re sweet, juicy, and bear a slight hint of tropical flavor. They’re an all-arounder — pair it with creamy cashew butter as a tasty raw snack or bake into a tart and serve with coconut ice cream for a tropical twist on pie a la mode.
Yes, there really is an apple called the Hubbardston Nonesuch. We promise we aren’t just making this up. It’s named after the Massachusetts town where it was found in the early 19th century. It’s a large, rugged apple with red skin and gold streaks. Bite into one and you’ll find a hard and crisp flesh and a rich flavor. These apples actually get sweeter as they age.
They’re a perfect pick for your next cheese plate. Pair with aged cheddar cheeses to let their sweetness shine through.
Sweet Wickson Crab Apple
Like most crab apples, the Sweet Wickson is small in size. Crab apples actually refer to the size of the fruit, not the species. The Wickson is a bit different though: It’s unusually sweet and tangy compared to most apples this size. They make great snacks for kids since they’re the ideal for stuffing into backpacks and lunch boxes.
But the best application for Wickson crab apples is cider making. You’d be surprised how much juice is produced from these small apples!
Armed with all this apple knowledge, you’re ready to make the most of fall. Of course, you can find all the classic apple varieties in our Marketplace and those are pretty darn good, too. But some of the best and most unique apples in the world are grown right in your backyard — so why not branch out and try something new this season?
Note: These apple varieties are highly seasonal! So if some are unavailable right now, check back in a few days. Part of the fun is trying new varieties throughout the season — there’s always something new to taste.