Coeur de Boeuf Apples
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Coeur de Boeuf apples are medium to large in size, averaging 7 to 9 centimeters in diameter, and have a round, oblate, cordate, to slightly flattened shape. The apples are often asymmetrical and feature some ribbing on the fruit’s shoulders. The apple’s stem is thick, woody, dark brown, and stout, and the skin is smooth, taut, and waxy with a faint sheen. The skin has a green base and is covered in maroon to burgundy blush and striping with prominent tan lenticels scattered across the surface. The blush may be solid, translucent, or broken, depending on the sun exposure during cultivation. Underneath the surface, the pale green to ivory flesh is occasionally flushed with red or pink veining and has a dense, hard, and crunchy consistency. The flesh also encases a small central fibrous core filled with tiny black-brown seeds. Coeur de Boeuf apples are aromatic and have high sugar and acidity levels, creating a sweet, tart, tangy, and subtly fruity taste.
Coeur de Boeuf apples are harvested in the late fall and can be stored through the spring.
Coeur de Boeuf apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are an heirloom variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The late-season cultivar dates back to at least the 13th century and was prevalent in orchards throughout medieval France. Coeur de Boeuf apples are harvested in mid to late October and grow on trees reaching 3 to 5 meters in height. The trees are vigorous and spreading and are a self-sterile triploid that requires a pollinator to produce fruits. Throughout history, Coeur de Boeuf apples are regarded as a storage variety, meaning they can last for extended periods, providing food throughout the winter and early spring seasons. The cultivar is primarily a cooking apple with a mild, versatile flavor, allowing it to be incorporated into a wide array of sweet or savory cooked preparations.
Coeur de Boeuf apples are a source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, and potassium to balance fluid levels within the body. The apples also provide some vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, iron to develop the protein hemoglobin for oxygen transport through the bloodstream, antioxidants to protect the cells against free radical damage, vitamin E to reduce inflammation, calcium to build strong bones and teeth, copper to develop connective tissues, and lower amounts of boron, manganese, vitamin K, zinc, and phosphorus.
Coeur de Boeuf apples have a sweet and tangy taste suited for cooked preparations. The variety is not commonly consumed fresh due to its tart and acidic nature, but when cooked, the taste mellows and becomes balanced, creating a pleasant eating experience. Coeur de Boeuf apples break down when heated and are mainly used in purees, sauces, and fillings. The flesh creates a lemon-yellow colored puree and is used as a filling in pastries such as cakes, danishes, croissants, pies, or tarts. Coeur de Boeuf apple fillings can also be added to doughnuts or turnovers. Try cooking Coeur de Boeuf apples into an applesauce and serving with roasted meats as a main dish. The apples can also be simmered into jellies, jams, and other preserves or used in cider blends. Coeur de Boeuf apples pair well with spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, nuts including pecans, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts, vanilla, chocolate, and maple syrup. Whole, unwashed Coeur de Boeuf apples will keep for 3 to 5 months when stored in a cool, dry, and dark location such as a cellar or refrigerator.
The name Coeur de Boeuf translates from French to mean “Ox Heart” or “Beef Heart.” This animal moniker was given to the apple variety for its large size and dark red coloring, similar in size and coloring to an ox’s heart. Throughout history, several types of produce have been named after ox’s hearts, including a tomato variety, a pepper cultivar, and custard apples, which are sometimes known as bull’s hearts. Ox’s heart was a name given to produce as it was a descriptor many people were familiar with and could recognize in commercial markets.
Coeur de Boeuf apples are believed by experts to be native to France and have been cultivated for centuries as a cooking apple. The variety’s history is unknown, but it is thought they date back to at least the 13th century and may be older. Coeur de Boeuf apples are also hypothesized to be a descendant of an apple native to Belgium and were adopted and widely planted in the department of Cotes d’Armor in Brittany in northwestern France, where they became their own variety. Some pomologists are concerned that Coeur de Boeuf apples may have been confused with another French apple named De Rouviau at some point in history, and it is uncertain if the apples are the same or distinct in present-day orchards. Despite its ambiguity, Coeur de Boeuf apples are still grown in specialty orchards, but they have become a very rare heirloom variety. Today, Coeur de Boeuf apples are grown in Haut-Languedoc, a natural park that spans across France's Tarn, Hérault, and Aveyron departments. It is also found in specialty orchards in Brittany and the Loire-Atlantique department in western France. When in season, Coeur de Boeuf apples are sold as a rare cultivar directly from growers or through fresh markets.
Recipes that include Coeur de Boeuf Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Typical Mom||Pressure Cooker Applesauce|
|I Heart Naptime||Homemade Crock Pot Applesauce|