Laxton's Superb Apple
Inventory, lb : 0
Laxton’s Superb apples are a small to medium-sized varietal, averaging 7 to 8 centimeters in diameter, and have a round to conical shape with broad, flat shoulders tapering to a narrow base. The apple’s stem is slender, dark brown, and woody, connecting to the stem cavity where spots of textured brown russet can occasionally appear. The skin is semi-thin, smooth, and taut with a faint sheen, showcasing a yellow-green base hue covered in patches of muted blush. The blush is comprised of faint streaking and striping, and variegated hues of red, orange, and pink wash across the striping to create subdued coloring. There are also many white lenticels scattered on the surface. Underneath the skin, the white to ivory flesh is fine-grained, dense, and firm, with a lightly aqueous, crunchy consistency. The flesh also encases a moderately sized central core filled with tiny black-brown seeds. Laxton’s Superb apples are consumed raw when ripe and have a balanced, sweet, and tangy taste with honeyed, spice-filled nuances.
Laxton’s Superb apples are available in the fall through early winter, with peak harvest occurring in October. Once picked, the apples can be stored until January.
Laxton’s Superb apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are an English variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. The heirloom cultivar arrives in markets late in the season and was bred by the well-known Laxton Brothers Nursery in England in the late 19th century. Laxton’s Superb apples are a Victorian variety favored for their sweet taste, muted coloring, and firm flesh. The fruits grow on small trees reaching 5 meters in height and were developed as an easier-to-grow variety than the apple’s parent, the Cox’s Orange Pippin. Laxton’s Superb apples share subtle flavor similarities to Cox’s Orange Pippin apples, an English variety renowned for its complex taste, and the apples are reserved for fresh preparations to enjoy the flavor nuances. Historically, Laxon’s Superb apples were grown commercially on a small scale, but over time, the variety became localized to home gardens and private orchards. In the modern day, apple enthusiasts grow Laxton’s Superb apples for their self-fertile nature, cold tolerance, resistance to canker and mildew, and ability to produce healthy crops.
Laxton’s Superb apples are a source of fiber to regulate the digestive tract, vitamin A to maintain healthy organs, and potassium to balance fluid levels within the body. The apples also provide vitamin C to boost the immune system, vitamin B6 to maintain amino acid levels within the bloodstream, calcium to build strong bones and teeth, and other amounts of vitamin K, copper, boron, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese. In addition to vitamins and minerals, the apples contain a flavonoid known as quercetin that contributes anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-like properties to protect the cells against free radical damage.
Laxton’s Superb apples have a sweet, balanced flavor suited for fresh preparations. The variety was bred to be a dessert apple consumed straight out of hand. It is recommended to slice or cut wedges from the fruit to serve as the apple’s firm flesh may be too tough to bite into. Laxton’s Superb apples can be served on cheese platters, tossed into salads, and mixed into fruit medleys. They can also be thinly sliced and layered on sandwiches for added crunch, shredded into slaws, topped over crostini, or used as an edible garnish on pancakes, parfaits, waffles, or porridge. Try slicing and serving Laxton’s Superb apples with dips such as nut butter, caramel, or chocolate. The apples can also be blended into juices, smoothies, or infused into ciders. Laxton’s Superb apples pair well with herbs such as mint, parsley, basil, and rosemary, nuts including pecans, almonds, pine, and cashews, maple syrup, chocolate, vanilla, and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Whole, unwashed Laxton’s Superb apples will keep for 1 to 3 months when stored in a cool, dry, and dark location such as the refrigerator.
The Laxton Brothers Nursery was a famous nursery in England in the late Victorian era. The business was established by Thomas Laxton after he developed a passion for horticulture sometime after his college studies. Initially, Thomas gardened as a hobby, but eventually, he began experiments with plant breeding as a science in the 1850s. Thomas Laxton later became chairman of the Stamford Horticultural Society and was known as one of the earliest nurserymen to use scientific methods in plant breeding. Thomas also worked with Charles Darwin in the mid-1800s on Darwin’s pea breeding experiments and sent several correspondences back and forth discussing the topic. Beyond scientific methods, Thomas Laxton was passionate about improving plant varieties for the common people and believed all varieties should be protected and saved. In 1878, Thomas purchased three acres of land near Sandy, Bedfordshire. He used this property along with another 140 acres to crossbreed and hybridize new varieties, especially apple, plum, and strawberry cultivars. In 1888, Thomas partnered with his son William and created a company that survived over three generations. The nursery was responsible for producing over 182 new varieties of plants, 27 of which were apples, and Laxton’s Superb apples were said to be one of his most successful apple releases. After Thomas died in 1893, the family-owned company operated under the name Laxton’s Brothers, and the company survived until the 1950s. Beyond Laxton’s Superb apples, the Laxton Brothers also released Laxton’s Royalty, Laxton, Laxton’s Leader, Laxton’s Favorite, and Laxton’s Herald.
Laxton’s Superb apples are native to England and were created by the Laxton Brother’s Nursery in 1897 at their nursery near Bedfordshire, also known as Bedford. The variety was developed from a cross between Cox’s Orange Pippin apples, a famous English variety, and Wyken Pippin apples, a Dutch variety dating back to the 1600s. Laxton’s Superb apples were given an Award of Garden Merit in 1919 and a First Class Certificate in 192l, two prestigious awards regulated by the Royal Horticultural Society. These awards are given to varieties with outstanding growth characteristics in home gardens. Laxton’s Superb apples were released to commercial markets in 1922 and eventually became a popular variety for specialty growers and home gardeners. The variety was cultivated as a limited commercial apple but later fell out of favor due to its biennial nature as the tree matured. Today, Laxton’s Superb apples thrive in temperate climates throughout the United Kingdom and are primarily found in private orchards, sold on a limited basis in farmer’s markets, distributors, and directly through growers. Laxton’s Superb apples are also one of the parent varieties of Red Superb, Crimson Superb, and Russet Superb apples. Outside of the United Kingdom, Laxton’s Superb apples are commercially grown on a small scale in Holland.
Recipes that include Laxton's Superb Apple. One is easiest, three is harder.