Blenheim Orange Apples
Inventory, lb : 0
Blenheim Orange apples are a large varietal, averaging 9 to 10 centimeters in diameter, and have a flattened, round to ovate shape with a fairly uniform appearance. The apple’s skin has a yellow-green base and is covered in patches of dull, red-orange blush and striping. The surface is also enveloped in spots of sandy brown russet, giving the fruit a textured feel. Underneath the skin, the cream-colored to ivory flesh is coarse, dense and firm with a dry, crumbly texture. The flesh also encases a small central core filled with tiny, dark-brown oval seeds. Blenheim Orange apples are aromatic and have an unusual blend of sweet, tangy, and nutty flavors with subtle citrus-like, fruity nuances.
Blenheim Orange apples are available in the fall through winter.
Blenheim Orange apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a heritage variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The English apples were discovered in the late 18th century and are one of the largest apple trees grown in England, reaching over ten meters in height. Throughout the 19th century, Blenheim Orange apples became a well-known cooking variety, planted commercially across England in nurseries and private orchards. The apples are a mid-season variety favored for their distinct nutty flavor and crumbly, dry flesh, well suited for cooking into a fluffy puree. In the modern-day, Blenheim Orange apples have faded from commercial production in favor of modern, juicer apple varieties, but the heirloom apples are still widely found in heritage orchards, home gardens, and through specialty orchards of apple enthusiasts who deem the variety worth preserving.
Blenheim Orange apples are a source of fiber to regulate the digestive tract, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation. The apples also provide magnesium to control optimal nerve functioning, vitamin A to maintain healthy organs, vitamin E to protect the cells against free radical damage, calcium and phosphorus to build strong bones and teeth, and other amounts of zinc, copper, boron, and iron.
Blenheim Orange apples are known for their dual-purpose nature and can be incorporated into fresh or cooked preparations. When served raw, Blenheim Orange apples have a drier, crumbly flesh that can be chopped and added to salads, consumed straight, of hand, or sliced and mixed into grain and fruit bowls. The most popular method of serving fresh Blenheim Orange apples is to pair pieces of the fruit with cheese. Soft, creamy, or sharp cheeses complement the apple’s nutty flavor, and the flesh’s crumbly nature creates textural depth against the smooth cheeses. In addition to fresh preparations, Blenheim Orange apples are cooked into a fluffy puree and combined into baked goods and sauces. The apples will not retain their shape with heat and need to be incorporated into dishes that require a softer texture, such as baking into cookies, bars, muffins, or doughnuts. In 19th-century England, Blenheim Orange apples were frequently used in apple charlotte, a dessert comprised of bread, stewed fruit, and custard. The apples have also been mixed with other varieties as a base cider flavoring. Blenheim Orange apples pair well with lemon zest, spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, or ginger, cheeses including cheddar, blue, brie, camembert, and goat, and nuts such as walnuts, pecans, and almonds. Whole, unwashed Blenheim Orange apples will last up to three months when kept in professional cold storage.
Blenheim Orange apples were named after Blenheim Palace, a residential home built in the early 18th century for John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough. The Duke was gifted the old Royal Manor of Woodstock by Queen Anne and was given permission to u the land to build a new house as a reward for his military achievements in the War of the Spanish Succession. Blenheim Palace was constructed between 1705 and 1722 and is the only non-royal house to use the title of palace. The palace’s most notable storical event was being the birthplace of England’s former prime minister Winston Churchill, and in 1987, the palace was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Blenheim Orange apples were discovered growing along a boundary wall of the palace gardens bGeorge Kempster, a basket weaver in Oxfordshire. Kempster took the seedling and planted it in his garden, naming the apples Kempster’s Pippin. The apples were later renamed Blenheim Orange in 1804 in honor of the palace. Beyond the curious history of the apples, Blenheim Orange apple tree wood was famous in England as one of the most used materials for constructing railway cog wheels during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Blenheim Orange apples were discovered in 1740 in Woodstock, a town in Oxfordshire, England. The apples were growing as a seedling along a wall of Blenheim Palace and were found by George Kempster, a local basket weaver. The variety’s parentage is unkwn, but Kempster valued the flavor and texture of the apples, planting the seedling in his home garden. The apples quickly attracted the attention of local Woodstock residents and were initially known as Kempster’s Pippin apples. Kempster allowed grows to take scion wood of the variety for grafting onto commercial rootstocks. In 1804, one nurseryman from Worcestershire, known as Biggs, requested that the apple’s name be changed to Blenheim Orange as a more marketable commercial descriptor. The Duke of Marlborough, owner of Blenheim Palace, approved this name change, and by 1818, the apples were being sold in nurseries in London and Worcestershire as Blenheim Orange apples. In 1820, the apples were awarded the prestigious Banksian Silver Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society, or RHS, and were exhibited at the London Horticultural Society in 1822. Blenheim Orange apples were also introduced to Massachusetts and Canada sometime in the 1820s and became a successful commercial apple in Europe and North America throughout the 19th century. The apples were later planted in Australia for commercial production and received the Award of Garden Merit by the RHS in 1993. Over time, Blenheim Orange apples began to fade from commercial cultivation due to changing consumer demand. Sweeter and juicier apples became the favored apple type in the 20th and 21st centuries, displacing many dry, cooking apples that were once the main commercial varieties of the 19th century. Today Blenheim Orange apples are cultivat on a much smaller scale and are regarded as a heritage variety grown in historic gardens, home orchards, and specialty growers. When in season, the apples can be found at farm stands, farmer’s markets, and distributors in Europe, North America, and Australia.
Recipes that include Blenheim Orange Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
|SBS Australia||Apple Charlotte|
|Amy & Jacky||Instant Pot Applesauce|
|Glorious Treats||Baked Apples|
|The Creative Bite||Pressure Cooker Pork Loin with Bourbon Apple Sauce|
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