Wyken Pippin Apples
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Wyken Pippin apples are a small to medium-sized varietal, averaging 5 to 6 centimeters in diameter, and have an ovate to round slightly flattened shape. The apple's semi-thin skin has a yellow-green base, covered in a faint, somewhat translucent orange-red blush. The patches of blush have blurred edges on the sides most exposed to the sun, and raised textured lenticels are scattered across the surface, while a light brown russet surrounds the stem cavity. Underneath the skin, the white to cream-colored flesh is tinged with green and has a fine-grained, dense, and lightly aqueous consistency. There is also a moderately-sized central core filled with black-brown tapered seeds. Wyken Pippen apples release a subtly sweet aroma and have a concentrated sweet and sharp flavor with brisk, tangy, and fruity undertones.
Wyken Pippin apples are harvested in the late fall and can be stored through the winter.
Wyken Pippin apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are an heirloom variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The apples were developed from seed in the 18th century and quickly became a favored dessert variety in England. Wyken Pippin apples reached the height of their popularity in the late 18th and 19th centuries, and the variety expanded outside of England, being grown in private gardens across Europe. The mid to late-season apple developed several regional names, including Warwick pippin, Warwickshire pippin, White Moloscha, Airley, Alford Prize, Gerkin pippin, Pheasant's Eye, and German Nonpareil. Despite their momentary fame, Wyken Pippin apples eventually faded from production with the introduction of modern commercial cultivars. They were also removed from gardens due to their small size. The variety is considered rare in the present, primarily planted in preservation orchards. Its most notable achievement is being used as a parent variety to create Laxton's Superb and Laxton's Pearmain apples.
Wyken Pippin apples have not been studied for their nutritional properties. Like other apples, the variety is a source of potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, and antioxidants to protect the cells against damage caused by free radicals. The apples also contain lower amounts of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while boosting collagen production, vitamin E to reduce inflammation, calcium to build strong bones and teeth, and other nutrients, including zinc, vitamin A, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Wyken Pippin apples have a brisk, fruity, and sharp flavor suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The variety was traditionally consumed as a dessert cultivar, eaten straight out of hand, and due to its small size, it was treated like a snack. In the modern day, Wyken Pippin apples are still mostly eaten raw and are savored for their unusual flavoring. Wyken Pippin apples can also be used in any fresh preparation calling for apples. Try slicing the variety and tossing it into salads, layering it in sandwiches, using it as a topping over oatmeal, overnight oats, and porridge, or mixing it into fruit bowls. Wyken Pippin apples can also be blended into smoothies, cut and served with dips, caramel, or chocolate, shredded into slaws, or quartered and served on cheese boards. Beyond raw dishes, Wyken Pippin apples are occasionally used in pies, cakes, tarts, and muffins. They are also simmered into apple sauce or pressed into juice for cider blends. Wyken Pippin apples pair well with vanilla, maple syrup, brown sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg, and nuts, including pecans, hazelnuts, and almonds. Whole, unwashed Wyken Pippin apples will keep for 1 to 3 months when stored in a cool and dark location such as the refrigerator.
Rain on St. Swithin's Day in Warwickshire was once a sign from the gods that divine protection was being cast over the apple orchards. St. Swithin's day annually occurs on the 15th of July, and growers would feverishly watch the skies on that day to predict the upcoming apple season. Warwickshire growers in the Midlands of England had a saying that said, "St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain, for forty days it will remain. St. Swithin's day, if thou be fair, for forty days 'twill rain nae mare." Rain was seen as St. Swithin christening the orchards, and growers believed the rain encouraged the early ripening apples to appear. Many Warwickshire apple farmers would also superstitiously wait until the blessing from St. Swithin before cutting or eating apples from their trees.
The origin of Wyken Pippin apples is debated among pomologists. The leading theory recounts when Admiral Thomas Craven of England, also known as Lord Craven, was visiting continental Europe. At some point on his journey between France and the Netherlands, Lord Craven consumed an apple and saved the seeds from the fruit. The seeds were planted in his orchard at the Wyken Manor House near Coventry in Warwickshire, England, after his return around 1720. The seeds produced an apple tree with sharp and sweet fruits, and the variety was named Wyken after its origination site. Over time, Wyken Pippin apples were planted across the West Midlands and into private orchards throughout England. The variety was also introduced to continental Europe, where it saw limited success in gardens during the 18th and 19th centuries. Over time, Wyken Pippin apples were replaced with modern cultivars with improved growth characteristics, causing the variety to become a rare, specialty apple. Today Wyken Pippin apples are found in select private orchards in England and Europe. The apples featured in the photograph above were sourced from Brogdale Farm in Faversham, Kent, England.
Recipes that include Wyken Pippin Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Claire Justine||Celery and Apple Matchstick Salad|