Sunday, December 18, 2011

Maiden's Blush **

This small medium apple is light yellow, sometimes with a green undertone.

The eponymous blush is a very light orange red wash with specks of intense color. The result is like a poorly mixed oil-and-water emulsion or flecks of pigment in oil.

It's a very striking effect.

Maiden's lenticels are small, sparse, and dark; some in the blush are stained a deep saturated red. My sample also bears a corona of russet in and around the stem well and the usual superficial blemishes.

The apple is firm in hand with a sweet fruity aroma.

The flesh of the Maiden's Blush is dense and white with a light yellow tint, crisp even two months off the tree.

With a good sweet-tart balance as a backdrop, there is a hint of vanilla, some citrus that includes a little pineapple, and a pinch of acidity--enough to enliven without offense.

There are some mineral notes and a pleasantly astringent finish, quite enjoyable overall.

I'm not sure how but I had the notion that Maiden's Blush was a modern breeding project. She is in fact an American heirloom dating back nearly two centuries.

Some accounts say that this apple mellows a bit in storage, which is not unusual; if so Maiden's Blush might be sharply acidic when harvested in mid to late September.

8 comments:

  1. It is Sharp as a razor right when picking. Eat it on an empty stomach or with a properly cleansed pallet( that's your mouh!). It will really make you puckered up, in a pleasant way.

    I found a wild or forgotten seedling with even sharper flavor. It's near whear where I get cider....about November 18 when picked. the apples were green because of shading, but turned green before I picked after the tree defoliated. Not identified as a known cultivar...so I'm calling it Late lemon....as it lasts late into the season and has an opaque yellow color...and oh yeah...is NOT for the faint of heart. Possibly the sharpest table worthy Apple I've ever eaten. Would be amazing to sporadically mix a few pounds of late lemon into a batch of acid-lacking cider. Propagating soon!

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  2. Excuse me, but I meant: the apples were green throughout the season due to shading...and turned YELLOW once the tree defoliated. Late lemon stores very well, had one last week. I think it is a promising variety for hard and sweet cider makers. Apples tend to mellow their acidity in storage as Adam mentioned....this has such a uniqe but strong and satisfying blends of acids...this is definitely the queen of the "spitters" or sour seedling apples grown primarily for alcoholic fermentation....if you like strong acidic apples I will mail anyone scion wood in march who is willing to try the Late Lemon! Ripens early November..hangs almost indefinitely.

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  3. I am always up for something different, though probably your Late Lemon is not going to appeal to the Honeycrisp crowd.

    Probably loaded with Vitamin C and other good stuff.

    By the way I think of "spitters" as being totally inedible--not so much an acquired taste as an unendurable one.

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  4. That's why I give it the title of queen. It appears to be a sitter by look, and if picked too early...but once it turns yellow its ready. Im eating one as we speak, and it tastes exceedingly good. It tastes similar to the maiden blush at this point. Perfect blend of sweet and tart, with a bit more tart. This is a great late winter Apple. It has a naturally waxy skin, which has not even a slight wrinkle, even though stored in a common refrigerator. Everything else in my fridge has some wrinkles, except these. This is a huge asset for organic orchardists who cannot use LAC wax resin to preserve the texture/storage life. I have seeds of this started, and am going to propagate this Apple big time, and begin a breeding program with it this spring. That is how good this Apple is.

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    1. Sound great! I look forward to meeting your lemon someday.

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  5. I love your blog.I live in Alabama and some of the apples posted here are not available in the deep south. I have a recipe blog and I bake with apples alot. Will vfisit again soon.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear about deep-south apple varieties sometime.

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    2. Magnolia Café: I've recently been in contact with an orchardist in Sumrall, Miss. He has quite the lot of apples and may be of help to you. Find his e-mail address on the site where Adam reviews Vanilla Pippin.

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