Saturday, November 2, 2013
Mine is an oblate apple, a bit bulgey and closer to medium-sized than to large. Ribbing is only evident in faint bumps at the base.
Hauer's blush is a dull wash of red splashed aross a saturated spring green. Lenticels are light on the blush and largely dark, probably with russet, elsewhere. There is a ragged circle of russet in and around the stem well.
This apple feels quite firm. There is no aroma, and the calyx gapes.
Inside hard dense fine-grained flesh is white tinted green, suggesting immaturity. Hauer's flavors are very mild, however, sweet with hints of white table grapes, cucumber, and squash. Its flesh oxidizes very rapidly.
I am clearly not seeing Hauer Pippin at its best, but while I cannot recommend its pre-ripe state the apple is pleasant enough and shows promise. I should certainly like to revisit a mature example some day.
Various sources call Hauer a "very late" apple that "needs such a crazy long growing season" that "we may never properly ripen" it.
The Santa Cruz (Cal.) Sentinel tells the story of how Peter Hauer found this variety, nicknamed the "Christmas Apple," by the side of the road in neighboring Apatos in the late 1890s.
(Aleta Watson tells a different story: that Hauer bred the apple and called it "Moonglow." Here's another version of that story.)
Fittingly my HP grew at an orchard at the University of California Santa Cruz. It was picked, for the record, not around Christmas but in late September.