Traditionally, apples ripen in the fall all the way to the end of November. Apple lovers salivate at the prospect of early ripening varieties that give a head start to the apple season. There are several varieties of apples that make their appearance in orchards and in grocery stores starting in August.
Akane apples are an early ripening apple that is sometimes hard to find in some areas. They are red with a crisp skin and white flesh. The flavor resembles that of a Jonathan apple that comes later in the fall and is rather on the tart side. That tartness makes it an excellent apple to make pies, crisps, baked apples and other desserts. Most early apples do not keep for a long time but the Akane will last a few months in a cold dark area.
Gravenstein apples come in two different types and both ripen in August. One has an orange-yellow skin and the apple looks a little flat. The thin skin is very crisp and the flesh is yellow and tart. This apple makes excellent pies. The other type has red stripes on the firm skin and a white flesh. It is called the red gravenstein and has been around for a very long time. The apple came from Germany and requires a certain type of soil to produce great apples. The soil exists in three places: Sonoma County in California, Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and in Germany. The red type is more available outside of the growing area.
The Lodi apple is medium in size and has yellow-to-green skin. The flesh is white and somewhat tart. This apple cooks down extremely fast making it good for pies and applesauce. Lodi apples were first planted in New York state and are a cross between a yellow transparent and a Montgomery apple. They do not keep very well and must be eaten within a month.
William’s pride is a Christmas red apple that ripens in August. Unlike other early apples, it is not tart. It has a somewhat acidic flavor that is very pleasant. It is a great eating apple. William’s pride apple trees produce a great deal of apples.
The yellow transparent apple is a large fruit with pale-yellow skin and white flesh. It is often used in applesauce and the flavor is very sweet and tender. The skin, when ripe, looks transparent and thin. These apples are often picked when they are still green and ripened on a sunny windowsill.
- Photo Credit Apple on the tree image by Nikolay Lapitsky from Fotolia.com
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