Matt, those apple slices look so tempting! They look like they were set up by a professional food dresser for their photo op. The pic makes me hungry for the juicy crunch.
Those look good!
They look incredibly good Matt, you really should be in advertising. Get a simple backdrop in the photo and the phone cords out of the way and you have an ideal roadside bulletin board. I’m not joking. The wet and juicy, grainy texture is very inviting. I’ve never had a Gravenstein.
Do they taste anywhere near as good as they look?
My Gravenstein should be ready by the end of August, can’t wait. I tried a Williams Pride and it needs a little more time.
William’s pride is easy to gauge here. The fruit drops when it is ripe and ripens over a long period. You can pick the fruit off the tree that is the same color as that on the ground. Here in SE NY it is half done. I give them away.
The Red Gravensteins are great. The ones with the red blush are sweetest and best. Like eating apple juice. They are literally juicy to the core. After eating the surrounding tissue, I cannot stop myself from sucking on the apple cores to extract the very last of the sweet and spritely juices inside.
The problem is that Gravensteins do not keep. They have staggered ripening over a two-week period. You must keep them refrigerated. If you get one that is perfectly ripe, they taste sublime when chilled.
Also, the flesh is dense and does not have a breaking texture (it is not Honeycrisp). But the flavor, juiciness, and early-season ripening make up for that. I eat them - one after another - until my gums are almost bleeding and I have canker sores on the tip of my tongue.
I have some Gravensteins left in the frig. They are already past their prime for fresh eating, so I plan to bake a pie with them. They are supposed to make a superior apple pie! I’ll be sure to report my results…
Thought to come from Denmark via Germany in the 1600s-- Gravenstein is one of the great old apples of yore.
However, I must say that the Gingergolds were very good this year-- winning my prize as the best early apples of the year.
Gravensteins in the orchards I manage tend to go to waste. Probably aren’t so good when irrigation is supplemented with rain but it is delicious none the less. But it seems I’m not the only one more attracted to peaches, plums, etc, during the Grav short season. There are those that love apples that much, but not a high percentage based on my observation. I no longer carry the variety in my nursery. Of course the Maryland sun may well kick it up a notch in delectability.
Good description Matt. FWIW, I’ve always felt that all apples tasted better and more refreshing when lightly chilled, but there are those who disagree (my Mother for example…lol).
I like everything chilled really…tomatoes, pears…the whole bit.
I read up on Gravenstein last night before you replied back. Maybe I’ll ask for a piece from ARS this year.
Sometimes Raintree stocks them too. They have a striped strain.
I have a bunch of summer apples ripening now, but am finding little interest in my family since they would rather be eating a peach or plum now - the same issue @alan is having. I regret putting in so many early apple varieties, and am going to be removing most of them. They are also more challenging to harvest due to small ripening windows and mealiness. Gravenstein for me got really bad rosy apple aphids, I’m not sure why but they really singled out that tree for several years in a row. I removed it this spring; other than the aphids it was a fine apple.
Jefferis, American Summer Pearmain, and Laxton’s Fortune are looking like a few I will keep, and probably Cherryville Black as well.
I am a fan of Red Fuji. it is a late apple but crunchy and sweet.
Jefferis does good around here, too.
On the other hand, I just gave a bag of some of my best stonefruit to my dental hygienist and what was she having ecstatic seizures over when I left? A nice Williams Pride apple I included in the collection. She loves the various plums and peaches, but apples are her favorite.
The WP are very good here this year- almost like Macouns.
Okay… Here it is: Gravenstein Apple Pie!
From my Mother’s recipe. (She usually uses Cortlands).
I had a little help:
Tasting notes coming soon… Erp!
Update: The pie was good!
The filling melted together nicely and developed the right kind of texture I like. A little too much sourness in the flavor profile for my taste, but this is just a minor criticism.
Not the best pie I’ve ever had, but still very good. Today we’re having some milder weather-- a break from the otherwise relentless heat and humidity of the Maryland peach season. Perfect kind of day to mix things up and bake an early-season apple pie!
Nicely done Matt. I will make some apple pies with my State Fair apples. Don’t forget about the ice cream topping.
Torture us, will you!
Looks like a nice pie with little juice. Did you add flour or are they just a good Apple that doesn’t turn to mush?
I want some now! Oh yum!
You should not be allowed to post pictures of pie while people are at work.