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Sep 15, 2013 09:07 AM

Mystery apples

We've just picked a few apples from the yard in back of our house, but don't know what kind they are. They're small, green and quite hard. Haven't tasted one yet, but I suspect they'll be tart. We're in Brampton, if that's any help.
Any guesses what kind or what best to do with them? I was thinking a pie or tart, maybe with pears.
Many thanks!

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    1. re: Kagemusha

      These are the suspects in question.

      1. re: zseckley

        Are those pears shown there as well? By any road, they look like Granny Smiths or related to me. Else by now they should be showing some red. If untended any windfalls were due to some natural infestation - happy visitors. Healthier apples hang on. They may be ready to go now.

        Your tree could be either a 44 year old survivor or wild. I'm thinking it's a survivor because until the 70's Brampton was an attractive small town in a rural surround.

        For sure your apples are edible and something you should explore. Keep us posted.

        1. re: DockPotato

          They are indeed pears. I'm going to try making a galette in the next few days - I'll post an update of the result.

    2. Maybe you have some Brammy Smith? :-) Have they ripened or did you pick them early? Your description does not help much to determine what they are. It's better to post a picture. Is it a very old tree? When I lived in Maple in the early 80's, there were about six apple trees in in the landlord's 40 acre field where I would pick some very nice apples each September and make pies They were some old varieties that you never see in the stores.

      1. Commercial orchards propagate their apples by grafts, because naturally-pollinated trees do not breed true. If your tree was an accidental seedling, it is extremely unlikely that it is a named variety. It sounds as though the ones you picked are not yet ripe. You might want to leave some of the fruit on the tree and sample it occasionally through the rest of its season, as well as keeping some in your refrigerator, noting dates of picking, so you will know if the variety is a good keeper. Some of the earliest heirloom varieties in North America improve with cold storage and are not at their prime until New Year.

        One year I went to a NH heirloom orchard and bought 3 each of a wide variety of apples. I ate one out of hand, baked one, and filled a tartlet with one, and made notes as to what purposes they were best for.

        2 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          I would have thought they weren't ready, but for the litter of windfallen specimens all over the ground. We were lucky to get what we did - might have got a few more if the landlady had had a ladder to borrow.
          This subdivision can't be older than the 70's. The tree was either planted by the owners, or something on offer from the builder - my suspicion is the former, since there is also a pear tree, a cherry tree, and a fruiting grape vine along the side of the back deck.

          1. re: zseckley

            You're probably right, but it's not impossible that the original owners had success planting the seeds from their purchased fruit - maybe a child's science project blessed with good luck.