Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hauer Pippin

My Hauer Pippin is, unfortunately, almost certainly too early, but with that warning I shall share this placeholder against the day when I have a peak sample to taste.

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.

4 comments:

  1. We happened across these Pippins at the Santa Cruz farmer's market last week (in February), sold by an organic orchard. I immediately noted how quickly the flesh oxidized. The flavor was simply outstanding, generally sweet but well balanced. The worker told us these were George Washington's favorite apple. That may not be true (methinks someone is confusing these with the Newtown Pippin?) but they are certainly one of mine.

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    1. Lucky you! I am not surprised that later examples of this apple are better than the one I tried.

      As for George W, no, he was a good hundred years ahead of Hauer's time.

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  2. I would like to hear from anyone who has grown and fruited Hauer Pippin in climate zone 7. I did many bench grafts of HP after learning about the apple in a book by a famous apple authority who called it a late fall apple. That's like saying New Year's Eve comes in late fall.

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    1. I've never had one that was remotely ready to eat. Just not in the right place at the right time.

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