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Crowngold apples are large fruits with a conical, round, to slightly flattened, ovate shape. The skin is waxy, firm, lightly russeted, and bumpy with a yellow-green base, sometimes covered in red striping and blushing. Underneath the surface, the flesh is aromatic, ivory to white, crisp, and aqueous, encasing a central core filled with small, black-brown seeds. Crowngold apples are crunchy and have a balanced, sweet, and honeyed flavor with mild, tart acidity.
Crowngold apples are harvested in the late fall and can be stored through the spring.
Crowngold apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a multi-colored variety that belongs to the Rosaceae family. This late-season cultivar was first discovered as a sport of the jonagold apple, which is a variety commercially cultivated in the United States, northern Europe, Russia, China, and Japan. Crowngold apples were selected by growers for their balanced flavor, crisp texture, and extended storage capabilities. While the variety is not as popular as the jonagold, it is favored by consumers as a fresh eating, dessert apple.
Crowngold apples are a good source of potassium, which can regulate fluid levels within the body and are a good source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can increase collagen production and boost the immune system. The apples also contain fiber, which can stimulate digestion and provide smaller amounts of iron, vitamin A, and calcium.
Crowngold apples are best suited for raw applications as their sweet flavor and crunchy consistency are showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The apples can be quartered and served with nuts, dips, and cheeses on appetizer plates, dipped whole in candy coatings or caramel for a sweet treat, or sliced and tossed into green and fruit salads. Crowngold apples can also be pureed into applesauce, pressed into juices and ciders, or blended into smoothies. In addition to fresh applications, Crowngold apples are sometimes used in baked goods such as cakes, muffins, crisps, pies, and tarts, stuffed with filling and baked as a stand-alone dessert, served with roasted meats, or cooked into jellies and jams. Crowngold apples pair well with carrots, parsnips, potatoes, beets, nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pistachios, honey, meats such as pork, poultry, and beef, cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, and herbs such as rosemary, basil, parsley, and mint. The fresh fruits will keep 1-3 months when stored in a cool and dark place, such as the refrigerator.
In England, the diverse selection of apples is highlighted through a marketing campaign known as Apple Day. The festival is celebrated in October, and many different farmer’s markets, orchards, and specialty grocers across London will host apple-related events to raise awareness of the unique, locally grown varieties available to consumers. During the festivities, some orchards showcase over one hundred types of apples, including Crowngold apples, and visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the cultivars, sample the fruits, and even purchase apples to take home. Other locations throughout London have also auctioned off giant apple pies for charity, host vendor markets with apple-focused baked goods, sauces, and jams, or showcase live cooking demonstrations to highlight unique recipes using cooking apples.
Crowngold apples are a spontaneous mutation or sport of the jonagold variety and were believed to have been created at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, selected for breeding around 1979. Today Crowngold apples are cultivated through specialty farms in England, the United States, and select growers in northern and western Europe.