Identify these apples

OK, here is a question for you fruit experts. My wife picked up these apples from a tree up the road from us. She delivers food once a week as part of our church’s ministry to provide meals to the sick and elderly in our area. One of the ladies lives across the street of a relative who has this very old and tall (20’ or so) apple tree. She told my wife it would fine if she wanted to pick up some of the apples off the tree.

She picked up close to a 5 gallon bucket worth of the apples, and brought them home. We made about 7 half pints of delicious apple butter from it, and we (I mean my wife) made a nice apple pie with what was left. As you can see, the apples look a bit rough, and quite a bit of the peel and part of the flesh had to be removed to get to the best parts. The skin spots are mostly superficial, doesn’t really go down into the flesh. Well, today she came home with another big haul of them, and she wants to can these. I don’t think they’re worth the trouble, but she didn’t want them to go to waste.

So, my question is, what variety do y’all think these are? I tasted them and here are my impressions:
Flesh is soft, not crisp, seems to have a somewhat aromatic taste, but has very little sweetness and tartness. Quite unremarkable in my opinion. Largest fruits are about 3 inches across the top, and have kind of a squashed look to them. Fruit kinda falls apart in the pie we (she) made. Anyway, I told her I would ask you guys what this variety might be. Thanks.

Here are the end results of all that work:

Apple butter:

And some apple pie, after I did some quality assurance:

I will say that the apple butter and pie are very good, but I am a sucker for apple pie, probably my favorite dessert.


that apple pie… and i’m waiting for dinner to be ready …

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Dinner? At 12:30? And then I saw you’re from NoCal, so never mind… I had a late supper at about 10 tonight myself. Just some leftover pressure cooked chicken and home grown green beans.

I think I hear the pie calling me, I think it said it wants to be drowned under some vanilla ice cream…

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that sounds real good right now. drowned in vanilla ice cream.

had 2 oranges from the store while waiting for dinner. i can’t believe they get away with selling that low quality fruit. sigh

Ugh, I know! My wife got some from South Africa, tasted like drywall.

Good people make good things happen! Wow, I would love a piece of that pie or maybe too! Good going!

Yes, she made those gnarly apples taste good. They do have some good “meat” on them once you peel them. I had a piece of the pie last night/this morning with some ice cream, and it was very good. I could get “foundered” on apple pie if it was always there in front of me. I used to have a bad sweet tooth, and had reined it in for a long time, but something like this is very tempting.

Would you like to guess what variety of apples these might be? I have been given some suggestions, but was wondering if folks would concur. I don’t want to prejudice their guesses.

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Everybody loves the pie and finished product —

But man, are those apples ugly!

Yeah, I would have just left them, but my wife isn’t one to pass up free fruit. We are planning to go to a PYO orchard this week, and get some good apples and pears, so I don’t know why she has to have so many of these inferior apples. We’re going to probably get a couple pounds of certain varieties, so we’re going to have to do something with all that produce too.

We have lots of wild blackberries on the farm and she’s spent hours picking them. I don’t care for them that much, they’re not real sweet. But she likes them, and ended canning some and making blackberry jelly with them. She thought it wrong to just let all that fruit go to waste. But I told her you can’t eat all of it!

Having all this fruit is nice, but I really don’t want to clutter up the food cellar with a bunch of canned fruit. You can’t live off of all that fruit if times gets tough. We have canned quite a bit of different meats, but need to concentrate on doing more. Maybe this winter we’ll get back to doing some more of that. We have canned quite a bit of green beans though, which is a good protein food.

OK folks, since no one has ventured a guess, I will throw out a possibility. I took some of these to a friend of mine who knows a lot about fruit, I think he maybe has a botany degree or something similar. He used to work for the local university’s ag or landscape dept, and has a few apple trees of his own.

He suggested that they might be Grimes Golden, because that variety is somewhat common in these parts, and he has had them before. I told him thanks, and came home and checked online about GG. Supposedly GG are crisp, tangy and somewhat aromatic. These are neither crisp or tangy, but there does seem to be some hints of spiciness to them. GG are also a mid-late season apple, and these obviously are not.

So, I’m doubting they are GG, but my wife said they may be a cross between a GG and a Milam, which is a small apple very common in this area. Or, they might be neither. Has anybody on here had a GG to sample this year? Or is it still too early for them?

I would have snuck those out to the livestock while she wasn’t looking –

Grimes is a good guess. You might be right. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

GG has lenticels, slightly tall shape, and a hint of ribs (very similar to its offspring Golden Delicious). In other words, it looks completely different from apples in your photo, which are oblate.

One of the best apples I’ve ever eatin looked just like those. I found it growing near an abandoned sandstone quarry many years ago. Wish I could locate that tree and get some scions from it.

I assumed it was some type of golden delicious or seedling but they were much more tart that GD.

Thanks Stan, that was my opinion as well. There’s just too many differences between them to say they’re GG. I think the biggest reason to doubt is that the differences in the harvest time. GG’s are usually harvested in mid to late September. Is it some kind of unknown cross with a GG? I guess that’s possible, but you’d think it’d retain some of the physical attributes of GG.

We planted two GG trees this spring. Hopefully they’ll give us some good fruit in a few years.

Well, these don’t have hardly any tartness, nor have much sweetness, and not crisp. Did the ones you discover have the same shape as these, or similar coloring? Grimes and GD are from your area, so like you said, it may have been a hybrid or seedling of one of those.

What kind of apple trees have you planted?

Yea they looked identical to yours. They were squat and wider than they were tall. And like yours they were covered with sooty blotch and fly speck. I’m betting mine was a seedling because the tree was quite large and scraggly.