Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pound Sweet (Pumpkin Sweet)

Cooking apples, like Pound Sweet, are not necessarily good to eat. If so, that does not make them bad cooking apples.

Today's is a hefty one, though I can't vouch for its exact weight, name notwithstanding. 

I notice right away its extreme ribbing, which remind me of the excellent culinary variety, Calville Blanc d'Hiver.

Unlike Calville this is green all over its shiny peel, with faint large lenticels you must look closely to see. The bottom half of the fruit has a faint purple-brown cast, which might be a blush (or not).

My Pound Sweet is only middling firm in hand—there's some give and I daresay I could dent it with my thumb if I squeezed hard enough. Pound Sweet also has an open calyx and a wonderful sweet aroma.

Inside the fruit is yielding and a little granular, a medium-fine-grained light yellow. 

There is extensive light brown discoloration in a region about a quarter inch deep from the peel around the bottom hemisphere of this apple. I took it for bruising at first but its texture is the same as the rest of the apple, though the flavor is not as good. 

This is the source of the "purple-brown cast" I noted before eating.

Apart for this, the flavors are very mild, sweet with almost no acidity, with perhaps a little mellon and cream soda.

I don't know how she cooks, or if another sample would be better, but this one holds no charms for me. Fortunately the Roxbury Russets have been very good this fall and I have a few right here—Cheers!

Pound Sweet originated in Connecticut in the early 19th century. 

Most sources describe better texture and flavor than mine, so I guess this remains on my "to do" list for another season.

In the mean time if you know Pound Sweet and would like to correct my first impression, please use the comments below. You'd be doing everyone a favor.


  1. My parents have a pound sweet appletree. I love the apples. I think I'm the only one that does. Anyway, we are about to sell their house as they both have passed but I can't find where to buy a poundsweet tree to plant at my house. Any ideas?

    1. Big Horse Creek Farm sells a large variety of apple trees including the pumpkin sweet (their name for pound sweet).!prettyPhoto

    2. @Sara, thank you!

      Big Horse Creek Farm, in North Carolina, also has an impressive variety of apples in season.

    3. maple valley nurseries has , and has scion wood also. love this place hundreds of antique verity's also lots of info about the apples

    4. You're not the only one who loves pound sweet! We had a PS tree in our yard growing up in upstate NY. I object to their characterization as cooking apples only. Yes, the mature PS is soft and very sweet. But if you pick one slightly less than mature you will find it very firm with some acidic favors.

  2. Miller Nurseries, Canandaigua N.Y. sold them the last I knew, in semi Dwarf. I understand they merged with Stark Bros. so don't know now. I loved Pound Sweets as a boy. As you say, the aroma is Heavenly.

  3. Grew up in upstate NY eating pound sweets. Delicious, any orchards or markets in the Pacific Northwest?

    1. Jesse, I hope I can find some good ones this fall. Let us know if you find any in PNW.

  4. Pound Sweet is my sister’s favorite apple. You might want to try a few more.

    Thanks for this fine website!

  5. We have one in our back yard that we make Apple Cider every year. It misses some of the bite of a more acidic apples but man is the cider super sweet!


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