Splashes Of Champagne Apples
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Splashes of Champagne apples are globular fruits with a round to ovate shape and are connected to slender, dark brown stems. The skin is glossy, smooth, and waxy with a yellow-green base and is covered in white specs and dark red striping and blushing. Underneath the surface, the flesh is crisp, dense, and white with faint red-pink coloring. There is also a central, fibrous core filled with small, brown-black seeds. Splashes of Champagne apples are juicy with a balanced, sweet-tart flavor.
Splashes of Champagne apples are available in the mid-summer through early fall.
Splashes of Champagne apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a mid-summer variety belonging to the Rosaceae family. Considered to be a Russian cultivar, the apples are also known as Champagne Spray apples and are a part of a larger group known simply as champagne apples. Other varieties found under the champagne category include Crimean champagne, Ran champagne, and Livonia champagne apples. Splashes of Champagne apples are favored for their sweet and sour flavor and have remained localized to their growing region due to their short shelf life and delicate nature. The apples are a popular home garden cultivar and are considered an everyday apple used in a wide variety of fresh and cooked applications.
Splashes of Champagne apples are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and contain fiber, which helps stimulate the digestive tract. The apples also contain vitamins A, B, and K, and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, and potassium.
Splashes of Champagne apples are considered a versatile variety that can be consumed in both raw and cooked applications such as baking, roasting, and boiling. When raw, the apples can be consumed fresh, out-of-hand as a snack, or they can be sliced and tossed into green salads, chopped into fruit salads, served over cereals, or sliced and served on cheese plates with dips. Splashes of Champagne apples can also be boiled into compotes, jams, or kissel, which is a dessert made with boiled, pressed, and strained apples, sugar, and starch. In addition to boiled applications, the apples can be baked into pies, tarts, cakes, muffins, and cobblers, grated and fried into fritters, baked with nuts, folded into pancakes, or pickled or dried for extended use. Splashes of Champagne apples pair well with carrots, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, potatoes, dried fruits such as apricots and raisins, honey, cinnamon, and nuts such as walnuts, pecans, and almonds. The fresh apples will only keep up to one month when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. It is recommended that the apples are used within 1-2 weeks for best quality and flavor.
Splashes of Champagne apples are a widespread home garden variety in Russia as the trees are moderately sized, resistant to disease, and frost tolerant. The apples are also favored for their balanced flavor, but due to their short shelf life, the apples must be used quickly and are incorporated into many everyday recipes. The variety is popularly used in a version of apple sharlotka, which is a light, fluffy pie that was created in the 19th century by one of Alexander I’s chefs. The recipe has been transformed since its creation, and the modern-day version uses eggs instead of cream to develop its moist texture. Splashes of Champagne apples are also commonly pickled at home in Russia. Pickling allows the apples to be stored for a longer period of time, and the nutritional properties are somewhat retained, offering a healthy snack during the cold winter months. The pickling process can take six to eight weeks, and the apples are stored in a liquid with cherry, blackcurrant, and mint leaves for added flavor.
Splashes of Champagne apples are believed to have been first discovered in Russia, but their history is mostly unknown. Today the variety is cultivated on a small scale through home gardens and local farmers in southwestern Russia, specifically the Krasnodar territory, and in regions of Siberia and central Russia. The variety is also sometimes found in regions of central Asia and eastern Europe.