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Saint Edmund's Pippin Apples
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Saint Edmund’s pippin apples are small in size and are conical to flat in shape with a long stem and deep cavity. The rough, matte skin is golden to pale orange and is covered in tan russeting. The cream-colored flesh is firm, juicy, and fine-textured with a few small dark brown to black seeds encased in the central fibrous core. Saint Edmund’s pippin apples are crisp and very sweet with flavors similar to vanilla ice cream and pear.
Saint Edmund’s pippin apples are available in the early fall.
Saint Edmund’s pippin apple, botanically classified as Malus domestica, is an early season russet that is known for its sweet, rich flavor. Also known as Saint Edmund’s russet and the Early Golden russet, the exact parentage of the Saint Edmund’s pippin is unknown because it was discovered as a chance seedling, which means it was found growing naturally without human genetic intervention. Saint Edmund’s pippin apples are predominately consumed as a fresh apple and were recognized as a high-quality apple in 1875 by The Royal Horticultural Society in England.
Saint Edmund’s pippin apples are an excellent source of dietary fiber which aids in digestion and also vitamin C which can help strengthen the immune system.
Saint Edmund’s pippin apples are best suited for raw applications as they have a rich flavor when consumed fresh, out of hand. They can be sliced and mixed with blue cheese in green salads or sliced and served as a healthy dessert. Saint Edmund’s pippin apples can also be pressed into juice and cider or cooked down into a sauce to top over ice cream. They will keep 2-3 weeks when stored in a cool and dark place. They can also bruise easily and should be eaten or pressed for cider or juice immediately.
Russet is a term used to describe a group of apples from different cultivars that have a rough, bumpy, and leathery skin texture. While russet apples used to be a popular variety in the Victorian era because of their texture and flavor, today russeting is considered by many growers to be an undesirable trait as the modern-day market has switched to desiring smooth, shiny, and uniform varieties. Apples such as the Saint Edmund’s pippin have decreased in popularity among the mainstream market, but they have remained a prominent variety at local farmers markets as a traditional and flavorful classic variety.
Saint Edmund’s pippin apples were discovered in the orchard of Mr. R. Harvey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk around 1870. Today they can be found at local farmers markets in England and select regions of the United States.