browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Our Apples

We’ve put together a comprehensive list and detailed information about the apples that we grow and sell in the Market. To the best of our knowledge, the information contained in the descriptions, as well as the historical data, anecdotes, and so on are accurate. Bear in mind that the timing of harvesting and market availability relies a great deal on the formidable force of Mother Nature. She has a way of altering the weather and conditions as we well know, so a particular variety can ripen earlier or later, sometimes up to two weeks either way. We won’t even touch upon what can happen if conditions get nasty….just remember that each year is different weather wise, so our crop will reflect both the good and the bad; apple growing can be a very tricky business!
LIMITED AVAILABILITY: This means that a particular apple variety won’t be available for too long once it’s ready to be harvested, so it’s a good idea to mark your calendar or call ahead to avoid disappointment unless you’re in the market regularly.
USES: The suggestions about how each apple variety can be used comes from a combination of general apple knowledge, personal experience and the valuable input from our many customers over the years: there are people who wouldn’t dream of making a pie with anything but a McIntosh and others who find it far too “mushy” once it’s cooked up, preferring the Empire or Golden Delicious, or a combination of two or three varieties. The same can be said for a “perfect” eating apple – it all really is a matter of personal taste and opinion. So, if you’re about to make your first apple pie ever or want to try a new flavor sensation, feel free to use the information as a guide. And if you do decide to venture into new “territory”, let us know about your experience – we’d love to hear about it!
IMPORTANT STORAGE INFORMATION: We all love to see a bowl full of beautiful shiny apples on display!! Unfortunately, unless you’re going to use them within a day or two, it’s not the best place for them. Ideally (and we assume ideal conditions when we talk about how long a particular variety will keep), apples should be stored at 35-40F in a fairly humid environment. Storing them in the fridge, in a cold cellar, or unheated section of the basement in cooler weather are usually good options. An uninsulated garage will do in a pinch provided the temperature is cool – keeping a thermometer with them and checking it daily is a good idea. Apples also absorb odors easily, so keep them in their original plastic bag away from anything that might cause them to get an unpleasant taste.
Apples will also continue to ripen after they’re picked. While refrigeration does slow that process, over time flavor may mellow, or the crunch may lose some of its “snap”.

APPLE DESCRIPTIONS & INFORMATION

(ARRANGED BY HARVEST DATE)

AUGUST
Paula RedThis bright red apple, likely descended from the McIntosh, is one of the first of the season; that’s one of its biggest “pluses”. It was discovered by fruit grower Lewis Arneds in Michigan and became available in the late 1960’s.
CHARACTERISTICS:
  • small to medium size
  • bright red, sometimes with yellow markings
  • tart/sweet and juicy and crisp white flesh, fairly mild flavor
  • limited storage potential, best used fresh
AVAILABILITY: LIMITED
USES: Excellent eating, average in applesauce and pies

Ginger Gold

This variety, native to the Blue Ridge Mountains, arrived on the scene in the late 1960’s, a result of a cross between a Golden Delicious and an Albemarle Pippin.
CHARACTERISTICS:
  • medium size
  • pale gold yellow, sometimes with a hint of green and a light red blush
  • juicy with a sweet mild flavor with a hint of tartness when first picked, creamy flesh
  • slow to oxidize (turn brown when cut)
  • limited storage potential, tends to go soft if kept too long
  • holds shape when cooked
AVAILABILITY: usually until early October
USES: Good for eating, very good in pies, baked whole, other baking, salads


SEPTEMBER

Elstar

This offspring of the Golden Delicious and Ingrid Marie became available in the U.S. in the early 1970’s.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium to large size
  • red over yellow, can appear almost mottled with red striping
  • firm but not hard, aromatic, sweet/tart in the beginning to the season, mellowing becoming sweeter with a hint of honey as the season progresses, creamy white flesh
  • stores well for the fall season
  • cooks to medium consistency
AVAILABILITY: LIMITED
USES: Very good for eating, used in cooking for its sweet flavor – suitable for pies(slices tend to lose shape), applesauce(cooks to medium consistency),baked

Gala

According to the U.S. Apple Association, this is one of the most popular apple varieties and is widely grown in the world. It is native to New Zealand, a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Kidd’s Orange Red, introduced to the U.S. in the 1970’s.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • small to medium size
  • light to dark red, pink/orange markings over greenish yellow
  • crisp and sweet/tart with a mild flavor and a thinner skin, cream-colored flesh
  • stores well for the fall season, until about mid October

AVAILABILITY – GOOD

USES: Excellent for eating, salads

Jonamac

As the name hints, this apple variety is a cross between a Jonathan and a McIntosh. Developed by the N.Y. State Agricultural Experiment Station, it was introduced in 1972.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium size
  • red to dark red with some green(usually less green than its McIntosh parent)
  • crisp and on the firm side, taste is similar to a McIntosh, sweet/tart but “spicier”, juicy, pale flesh
  • stores well, until mid to end November
AVAILABILITY: Until about Mid-October
USES: Excellent for eating apple, excellent for applesauce, pies (keeps it shape better than Mcintosh), other baking

McIntosh

John McIntosh, a Canadian farmer, discovered this apple on his Ontario farm in the St. Lawrence Valley in the early 1800’s. The original tree produced fruit until 1906.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium size
  • crimson or dark red with touches of bright green/yellow
  • crunchy, soft white juicy flesh and sweet/tart flavor, aromatic
  • stores well
  • cooks down quickly
AVAILABILITY: EXCELLENT, usually until Thanksgiving or market close
USES: A favorite eating apple. If you like your apples to cook up completely, this is the one for you! Excellent in applesauce, cooks down quickly. Considered too soft for pies (and anything else that requires some substance when cooked) but this apple has many pie devotees.

Honeycrisp

This winner that is much sought after by its fans, was developed at the University of Minnesota and introduced in 1991 to much acclaim. It is the result of what was thought to be a combination of Macoun and Honey Gold but apparently genetic testing has put that into question. While exceptionally popular, this variety can be challenging to grow and store and therefore not as plentiful some years as others. For that reason, it is considered a “premium” apple.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium to large size
  • bi-color, predominantly red\orange over a yellow\green background, sometimes with a pink blush
  • unique honey-sweet flavor, juicy, described as “explosively crisp”, cream-colored flesh
  • good storage potential until mid-end December – stays crisp and flavorful
AVAILABILITY: LIMITED
USES: Excellent eating, cut in salads, not well-suited for cooking

Spartan

This apple was introduced in the 1930’s after it was developed at the Canadian Apple Research Station in Summerland, British Columbia. It’s a cross between a McIntosh and what was thought to be a Newton Pippon, but genetic testing has put that into question.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • smaller size
  • bright crimson red skin with an occasional bright patch of green
  • sweet, juicy, and white flesh
  • store until mid-November
AVAILABILITY: LIMITED
USES: Excellent eating, applesauce, tends to cook down and loses its shape in a pie (similar to McIntosh)

Empire

This very popular apple is a McIntosh and Red Delicious cross. It was developed at Cornell University in New York and introduced in 1966.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium size
  • shiny, deep maroon red with a hint of green
  • crisp with a sweet/tart flavor and a juicy white flesh. Usually firmer than a McIntosh
  • good storage potential – end December or January
AVAILABILITY: GOOD, usually until the market closes.
USES: Excellent all around – An excellent “lunchbox” apple; applesauce, pies, general baking, salads

Grimes Golden

An old-time apple, discovered in the 1830’s in West Virginia. It is thought to be a parent of the Golden Delicious.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium size
  • ranges in color from pale yellow-green to a golden yellow, sometimes with russet markings
  • rich spicy sweet flavor with a hint of tartness, crisp and juicy, yellow flesh
  • good storage potential, mid to end of December
AVAILABILITY: LIMITED
USES: Good all-purpose – eating, applesauce, pies, general baking

Jonagold

This cross between a Golden Delicious and a Jonathan was introduced in 1968, developed by the N.Y. State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • large size
  • yellow ranging to orange with red\pink markings
  • sweet flavor, slightly tart/tangy, firm and juicy, creamy yellow flesh,
  • good storage potential, end December
AVAILABILITY: GOOD, usually until market closes
USES: Good for eating, excellent for applesauce, pies, baking- very versatile apple-can be used in any recipe calling for apples.

Macoun

Considered by some to be one of the better eating apples in the Northeast, the Macoun came about as a result of a combination of McIntosh and Jersey Black at the Geneva Research Station in NY State. It was named after a Canadian fruit grower, W.T. Macoun, and became available in the 1950’s.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • small to medium size
  • dark red with a purplish hue
  • sweet/tart tasting, firm, juicy, crisp white flesh, aromatic,softens with time

Store until mid-end November

AVAILABILITY: LIMITED, short season
USES: Excellent eating, good for applesauce, pies, in salads

OCTOBER

Golden Delicious

Considered to be one of the most important apple varieties of the 20th century, the Golden Delicious was discovered, apparently by chance, in West Virginia in the early 1900’s and is WV’s’ official state fruit. Grimes Golden and possibly a variety called Golden Reinette are the likely “parents”. Contrary to popular belief, the Golden and Red Delicious varieties are not related; they only share a name.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium size
  • golden yellow color, sometimes with a pale red or pink blush
  • mellow, sweet flavour, crisper when first picked, juicy, creamy flesh
  • Store until end December
AVAILABILITY: GOOD, usually until market closes
USES: Very versatile apple-Excellent for eating, applesauce, pies, baking, cooking.

Red Delicious

This popular apple was reportedly discovered in Iowa at the end of the 19th century. Contrary to popular belief, the Red and Golden Delicious varieties are not related; they only share a name.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium size, distinct conical shaped
  • dark red often with white dots, occasionally a yellow blush
  • sweet flavor, sometimes a hint of melon, firm yellow flesh
  • store until mid-end December
AVAILABILITY: GOOD, usually until market closes
USES: Excellent eating, not recommended for pies or baking

Crispin/Mutsu

Developed in Japan and introduced in the 1940’s, the original name of this apple is MUTSU. It’s a cross between a Golden Delicious and the little-known variety, Indo Cross.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • large size-resembles a large Golden Delicious
  • greenish tinged, golden-colored, occasionally with an orange blush
  • sweet flavor with honey undertones, juicy, very firm and crisp with white flesh
  • store until end December

AVAILABILITY: LIMITED
USES: Eating, applesauce, pies, baking and cooking


Melrose
This apple variety, a cross between a Jonathan and Delicious, was developed at the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station and introduced in the 1940’s.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • large size
  • yellow green with red, often with russet markings
  • sweet with some tartness, firm, juicy, creamy white coarse-textured flesh
  • keeps it shape when cooked
  • store until mid-end December

AVAILABILITY: GOOD, usually until market closes
USES: Excellent eating, pies-retains shape, salads


Nittany

We are one of a few orchards to grow this apple variety. It has a devoted number of fans who start calling to check availability in anticipation of its arrival in our market. Introduced by Penn State University, Randy’s Alma Mater (could be one of the reasons he grows it!!!), it was named after the famous Nittany Lion, the school’s official mascot and is a cross between Golden Delicious and York Imperial.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium/large size
  • bright red/orange and green/yellow, faint striping
  • sweet-tart, firm and juicy with a deep yellow flesh
  • excellent storage potential, can over-winter
AVAILABILITY – GOOD, usually until market closes

USES:Excellent eating, baking, cooking


Suncrisp

This apple is reported to be a cross between Golden Delicious and a Cortland/Cox’s Orange Pippin. It was developed by Rutger’s University and introduced in the 1990’s.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • small to medium size
  • yellow green with an orange pink blush
  • tart/spicy that mellows over time,very firm and crisp, cream yellow flesh
  • stores until end December
  • cooks down quickly
AVAILABILITY: LIMITED
USES: Eating, baking, cooking

Braeburn

An introduction from New Zealand in the early 1950’s, this apple variety is thought to be a cross between a Lady Hamilton and Granny Smith.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium size
  • red orange blush over golden yellow
  • sharp, sweet flavor, sometimes a hint of pear, firm, crisp and juicy, pale yellow flesh, aromatic
  • stores very well, can over-winter
AVAILABILITY: LIMITED
USES: Good for eating, pies, other baking, preserving, cooking, in salads, etc.

Enterprise

This apple appears to be related to the McIntosh and was developed in a combined effort by Rutgers and Purdue Universities and the University of Illinois.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium to large size
  • dark red with a thicker, almost chewy skin
  • mildly tart and spicy, juicy, firm and crisp, flesh is pale creamy yellow
  • stores well, can over-winter
AVAILABILITY: LIMITED
USES: Some find the skin thick, so peeling is an option for eating. Excellent for dumplings, baking whole, stewed, canning, stays firm in a pie

Fuji

This popular apple originated in Japan and was introduced to the U.S. in the 1980’s. It is a combination of Red Delicious and an heirloom variety called Ralls Genet.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium to large size
  • light pink to dark crimson over yellow-green
  • mild, sweet flavor, crisp, refreshing, creamy white flesh
  • stores very well, can over-winter
AVAILABILITY: GOOD, usually until market closes
USES: A favorite eating apple, tends to lose its flavor when cooked

GoldRush

This apple, which is the official state fruit of Illinois, apparently got its name because of its gold color and the “rush” of flavor. Developed by Purdue University, it was introduced in 1994 and is a cross between a Golden Delicious and an experimental apple variety.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium size
  • green/yellow with a bronze or red blush
  • complex, spicy tart flavor, crisp, firm yellow blush, not overly juicy, pale yellow flesh
  • flavor mellows with time
  • a great “keeper”, will store over winter
  • slow to oxidize (turn brown) when cut
AVAILABILITY: GOOD, usually until the market closes
USES: Excellent eating, pies-stays firm, salads, drying

Granny Smith

This well-known “international” apple was reportedly discovered in Australia by Maria Ann Smith in the 1860’s and was named after her. It is thought to be a cross between a French crab apple and a Rome Beauty and was introduced to the U.S. in 1972.

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • medium to large size
  • unmistakable, bright green and shiny, sometimes with a slight rosy blush when ripe, thicker skin
  • sharp tart flavor, juicy, hard, crisp, white flesh
  • stores well, can over-winter
AVAILABILITY: GOOD, usually until the market closes
USES: Ideally suited for both eating and pie making, salads, cooking

20 Responses to Our Apples

  1. Mike Harris

    I figure I bought 200 LBS last year, Guess I will have to beat that

    • Brown's Orchard

      Mike
      That’s a lot of apples, thank you, please ask for a multi bushel discount when you are at the market. You have crossed that threshold and some
      Randy Brown

  2. Mark A. D'Agostino

    I have recently discovered a treasure trove of superior quality apples. I’m hooked and now can’t get enough apples….so this gives me an excuse to buy more!

    • Brown's Orchard

      Well thanks, Mark. The good news is we’ll be opened until December 20 this year as there’s a bumper crop, so you can fulfill those apple cravings. A few varieties store exceptionally well, too, so you can keep enjoying apples into the winter. Just ask us which might suit you best next time you’re in to see us.

  3. marion lorenzi

    We’ll be stopping by today to pick up some apples. You have the best around, such care taken in preserving them after picking, I tell everyone they need to visit and check out the store/barn.

    • Brown's Orchard

      Thanks very much; it has always been important to us to do all we can to get the apples from tree to a customer’s home in the best shape possible. We don’t like damaged or bruised fruit either and always appreciate a little extra care. We cringe when we see produce carelessly handled…There’s still a great supply of many varieties and we’re open until December 20 this year.

  4. Pete Broskey

    One of the only places around to have my Nittanys. Thank you soooo Much. The Crimson Crisp apples were also very good. Very friendly and helpful. I definitely will spread the word. My Mother is already planning a trip up.

    • Brown's Orchard

      Thanks for the kind words and apologies for the late reply. We are happy to supply the special Fans of this PA apple! And we Are excited about the Crimson Crisp, a new favorite, with it’s sweet/tart flavor and crunch. We still have some stellar Nittanys and they store well, too.

  5. Denny/Mary

    We have been going to your orchard for years and your apples are the best.

    • Brown's Orchard

      That’s great to hear; thanks for passing along the compliment! Hope you enjoy this year’s bounty, too.

  6. Dom Pandolfo

    Randy,

    We are the family that moved to Pleasant Rd. because we wanted to be closer to your Orchard’s apples.
    They are one of God’s move delicious gifts. Thank you, your family, and all those who work so hard to produce these wonderful apples.

    Your neighbors, Dom and Anne.

    • Brown's Orchard

      Thanks for such kind words and for stopping in on our opening day. Wow, we are honored to think we may have contributed in any way to your decision. Hope to see you again soon!

  7. Rachel Polachek

    Your apple’s are the absolute best!!! EVER!!!! My grandparents took my sister, brother, mom, and I to your orchard last year and this year we are going with my dad. I am so excited to come….I’ll be seeing you soon. YUMMY….

    • Brown's Orchard

      That’s great to hear, Rachel! We always try to supply our customers with excellent apples and cider. We have quite a few varieties in the Market now and cider-making is in full swing. Thanks so much for letting us know. We look forward to seeing your family soon.

  8. Amy Wilhoit

    We have started the tradition with our children 3 years ago, as soon as the market opens we come in for our absolute favorite apple, the Ginger Gold, we get some cider if you guys have it:( and we get a back of apples for the horses:) Browns apples are by far the ABSOLUTE BEST apples around!!!!

    • Brown's Orchard

      We’re so happy that you’ve made a visit to our Orchard Market a new tradition for your family and that you appreciate our apples and cider. With the erratic weather that we had this season, hot, dry and then wet, there may be fewer Ginger Gold. We do have frozen cider available from last season (excellent once thawed) since it’s too soon to start pressing this year.

  9. Becky Allyn

    Look forward to the weekly visits for fresh apples year after year! With all the changes in our life it is nice
    to be able to bring my kids and friends to one of my favorite spots. Look forward to my visit next weekend, thanks for all you do! Best Cider on earth!

    • Brown's Orchard

      Wonderful to hear, Becky. We will have Ginger Gold, Jonamac, and Galas available when we first open, as well as frozen cider since it’s still too early to press this season(it really does taste just about as good as fresh). Just remember to let it thaw completely before you drink it. And thanks for your kind words.

  10. Christina McDonald

    Your site is wonderful. We love your apples and can not wait for you to open up this year. We have been coming there since I was a little girl. Now, I bring my kids out to enjoy your delicious apples. We also love the apple cider!!

    • Brown's Orchard

      That’s terrific! We always look forward to seeing our “old” customers and are tickled to hear about people sharing the tradition of a trip out to get our apples and cider with their kids and grandkids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *