What is your favorite Apple Variety and what do you use it for?

PatriciaPNW

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My husband and I thinned and picked apples for two summers in the 1970s recession. We were REALLY sick of apples ... until the next summer! They are amazing for the variety of tastes and uses. I have several old trees I can’t identify for sure but great taste. Otherwise it’s the classics - offshoots of old standbys like Jonathan, Granny Smith, Akane. I like the term “Doorway fruit” = varieties too delicate for commercial and shipping use but great for the household. Agee with most of the feedback on varieties. I did order the new Cosmic Crisp even though I get tired of the too sweet Honeycrisp fast (one of its parents). My orchardist said the flavor is tart-sweet and complex (not just one flavor or taste in your mouth, has an after-taste too).
 

thistlebloom

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I have a Honeycrisp and a Sweet 16 in back. I think they are both great, but the Sweet 16 develops a really complex flavor when it's left on the tree to mature more. I discovered this by accident. I didn't pick most of the apples we got this year, and after letting several friends pick their fill, and they went for the Honeycrisp primarily, I picked a bucket to bring in before an expected early freeze. They were wonderful.

We also have four trees out front that were Prairie Fire crabs that died at the graft and the rootstocks took over. They are all different from each other and three of the trees produce really tasty fruit, and a lot of it.

I had a Zestar that only fruited one season before being killed by a buck using it for an antler rub. Those were good apples! I should replace it, but we don't use up what we already have.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Not lazy per say. But, it is my gardening style. Deep mulch, no till, allow many plants to re-seed themselves. Choice of plants and trellising to avoid bending over to harvest. No hilling of corn or potatoes... Letting chickens do a lot of my soil prep, insect control, and weeding.
 

flowerbug

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I have a Honeycrisp and a Sweet 16 in back. I think they are both great, but the Sweet 16 develops a really complex flavor when it's left on the tree to mature more. I discovered this by accident. I didn't pick most of the apples we got this year, and after letting several friends pick their fill, and they went for the Honeycrisp primarily, I picked a bucket to bring in before an expected early freeze. They were wonderful.

We also have four trees out front that were Prairie Fire crabs that died at the graft and the rootstocks took over. They are all different from each other and three of the trees produce really tasty fruit, and a lot of it.

I had a Zestar that only fruited one season before being killed by a buck using it for an antler rub. Those were good apples! I should replace it, but we don't use up what we already have.
three out of four growing tasty and plentiful apples from root stock is pretty good news. are they all similar or each different? or do you mean they are also a crab apple?
 

thistlebloom

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three out of four growing tasty and plentiful apples from root stock is pretty good news. are they all similar or each different? or do you mean they are also a crab apple?
They are all different. One tree makes huge apples the size of softballs. Those aren't great for fresh eating but are pretty good in a pie. The others are smaller, with different taste profiles. I have dehydrated, made pies and sauced them all. Some are more suitable for one thing or another, but not all three uses. Usually the neighbors help keep them picked and used, but everybody has planted a few trees of their own now, and that are bearing, so we have a lot that are left there for the moose and deer.
 
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