I got an apple whip from across the country in 2014. It was supposed to be Médaille d’Or, a small heavily russetted fruit with orange showing through russet in the sun. It stands on Gen41, so it will be a small tree.
This year it bloomed one day after Hunt Russet, which puts the bloom rather late, and perhaps earlier than one might expect for MdO, which is very last to bloom in most places where it is grown at all. It showed the only fire blight strike I’ve seen in ten years growing apples (true, I avoid those FB sensitive, except for Hunt and MdO.) I left some sample fruits. They had no obvious codling moth damage, even without any help from me, which I expected with MdO. But, they have NO russet and continue to grow. The skin is entirely smooth, ground color is light green and, due to lots of sun hereabouts, lots of reddish burgundy stripes and long blotches. Measuring them today, all three are three inches tall , two are 3 x 3" and one is 3 1/2" wide.
I picked 'em today after finding earwigs excavating. 14 Brix; fat, brown seeds, creamy yellow flesh with good,
I know a fellow with a 20 oz tree. Absolutely loaded with huge, green, pink striped, tasteless tart fruit. Excels in any cooked application. FB magnet, every year strikes all over the tree when other varieties show nothing. Good pies though!
A very old (100+yr) local tree was IDed as 20 Oz pip a couple years back by Apple guru John Bunker. I thought the apples were superb fresh eating, they did go by rather quickly however (not a keeper)…hmmm, I should visit that tree now and see if it is cropping this season.
I picked some 20 ounce from a local orchard several years ago. I kept seeing them every year I visited. The owner mentioned that they made the best pies of all the
varieties they grew. I think it had to be the ugliest apple I ever laid eyes on. Those I picked left everything to be desired when I tried them fresh. They were however quite good in a pie.
Apart from the chunks chewed out by earwigs, I find these apples handsome. The flavor fresh is better than anything found at the supermarket, and maybe later today I can bake with them and see how they perform. Twenty Ounce is still my best guess for the ID of the mislabeled apple.
Finally cut into the Twenty Ounce/Blessing to make a pie last night. The big one with heavy earwig excavation had gone mostly rotten within. I should have picked it sooner in the season and used it that day! Duly noted.
This pie was made with one Twenty Ounce apple in good condition, about a fifth of the one going bad, and one Bardsey apple: 9 1/2 inch pie dish. The Twenty Ounce/Blessing not only keeps its shape baked, it has a crunchiness I find unexpected. It also retains its delightful flavor cooked.
It may be worth trying to cart some samples over to Portland, OR for the Home Orchard Society fall fruit bash next October to clinch the ID on this one. Somewhere I read that Twenty Ounce/Blessing blooms mid-season, and this tree was last of 8 varieties to bloom (one day after Hunt Russet, which is properly identified and blooms late.) Perhaps conditions here nudge it to become later; maybe it is actually something else entirely.
No description in my reading so far comes as close to this apple as 20 Ounce. Yet.
I found the source of the differing bloom time: Fedco. This tree bloomed again with Hunt Russet. We’ll see how it compares to bloom time for GoldRush (mid-late) when that gets old enough, in a couple years.
This year was typical for spring: brief rains and plenty of time for things to dry out between. No FB strike on this tree in '18. I am covering the fruit with nylon sockies (sockets? socklets?) against both earwigs and birds until ripe. Also, I hope to make a trip to see family and the Home Orchard Society in Portland, OR, this fall to confirm - or amend - its ID. Have put wood ash and dolomite at its base again this season. Late emerging leaves look better, although new growth has a yellowish cast to it.
I see I neglected to write - or was too ashamed to admit - the tree I had hoped was Twenty Ounce turned out to be Honeycrisp! I sent samples to the Temperate Orchard Conservancy and they gently led me to the right path. Straight off the tree, Honeycrisp is pretty good & this demonstrates how I avoid it in stores.
Without the mistaken ID I might never had tried Honeycrisp in a pie. Not much flavor, even picked the same day, but sure gives substance to a pie.
Since then, I cut it down, and grubbed out the stock. (Out this way Geneva 30 already produces a tree only 40% of standard; Gen11 looked to be puny.) In its stead now stands Twenty Ounce, grafted last year onto Geneva 30. The whip is putting out plenty of beginning branches; makes me wonder if it will bloom a bit next year.
If so, it will be stripped of any fruitlets that might form, for at least another year.
Is Twenty Ounce so precocious as to bloom in its third leaf? I’ve learned it was brought here by settlers, so am encouraged the more to grow it.
No bloom this year, which is fine since my graftling is still gaining size. Looking at a facsimile reproduction of US Dept. of Ag. “Apples: Old and New Varieties” and originally printed in 1913, I found Twenty Ounce listed as “One of the best fall varieties for home or market.” It also listed TO as “Immune in 1906” to fire blight. Interesting assessment.
In September '20 I bought a sack full of Twenty Ounce from an organic orchard about 50 miles away. They were fine eating, flavor was pure apple times two. I did not bake any, just ate 'em fresh and they held condition about 4 weeks.