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#1
Old 09-03-2016, 05:11 PM
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I want to pick our apples now. Talk me down.

Last summer we moved to an old horse farm with a mature apple tree in the yard. I've almost always had apple trees next to my houses, but they've never produced apples I wanted to eat.

This year, this particular tree has. I just picked a huge, flawless apple off it, and ate the whole thing. It had snap, but a slightly floury texture that made me think they're baking apples. They're green with half a red flush right now. The flavor was slightly tart and slightly sweet. Nothing to knock your socks off, but if I'd bought them in a grocery store I'd be perfectly satisfied, and they were better than any apple I've ever been given in an institutional setting.

So now I want to pick them. Before the worms can get at them. My husband says they aren't ready--leave them a week, better two. I say they're good now and leaving them on the tree makes it likelier worms will get them. He, optimistically, expects them to improve.

What do you think?
#2
Old 09-03-2016, 05:20 PM
Isaiah 1:15 Screw the NRA.
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Location: SoCal
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Don't pick them! Give them through the weekend at least, then slowly harvest as needed. You might lose a few to worms, but the improvement in flavor will be worth it. Then either process them of wrap in brown paper and barrel them.
#3
Old 09-04-2016, 03:46 AM
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My grandmother made wonderful apple jelly from my aunt's tree. Cut out any bad spots and use what's still good.

Jelly is easy to make.
https://youtu.be/D-ExeXveuVo
#4
Old 09-04-2016, 06:28 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
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Are some of them falling off? If so, they're ready for picking.

A ripe apple ready for picking should need little more than a little lift or twist and it will come cleanly away from the fruiting spur.
#5
Old 09-04-2016, 06:30 AM
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Also - worms aren't something that happen overnight. The worms will already be in there, or not. If any of them have a conspicuous ribbon-shaped corky scar on the skin, or odd bulges at the stalk or blossom end, that may be an indication of infestation by apple maggot or codling moth.

Cut 'em with a knife. Don't just munch on them. Also. Grenades.
#6
Old 09-04-2016, 09:49 AM
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Thanks, Mangetout. There are a few windfalls under the tree, it's true ... hmm. Hmmmmmm.
#7
Old 09-06-2016, 09:48 AM
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Are the seeds brown? If they are white or only turning brown the apples are still unripe.
#8
Old 09-06-2016, 10:26 AM
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Can you press them to make cider? The cloudy, thick, full of apple deliciousness cider?
#9
Old 09-06-2016, 01:38 PM
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The seeds are brown, hip hip hooray. Yesterday I picked an armful and made a pie. Not a good test of how ripe they really were, but the pie is tasty.

We could make cider, if we had a press. My husband gave away his carbuoys when we moved, too.
#10
Old 09-06-2016, 03:13 PM
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Here's a recipe I've been using. It's from the New England Yankee Cookbook, published in 1933.

Take a half-gallon of sweet cider and reduce it by half in a soup pot. Fill the pot with peeled, sliced apples, turn heat down to low, cook as long as you can stand it, stirring frequently.

Every single person who has tasted this says it's the best applesauce they've ever tasted.
#11
Old 09-06-2016, 03:14 PM
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Also, my experience is that if your apple is mushy straight off the tree, that's not going to magically change. Will probably get mushier. Pick em now.
#12
Old 09-08-2016, 07:21 PM
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I just picked an egg-basket full. How many is that? Half a bushel, maybe? I picked them, then I had regrets. By volume, that's more applesauce than my family is used to eating in a year.

Didn't stop me from putting them through the peeler/corer/slicer till my rotator cuff complained. They're simmering in my big stock pot right now, with plenty of cinnamon. Will sweeten to taste after they're cooked.

I wish we hadn't given away our food dehydrator. I have the BEST recipe for dried-apple cake.
#13
Old 09-08-2016, 10:11 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Whites elevated; UT
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For one, if you have an oven you can still dehydrate them and two, you can always freeze slices for making applesauce or pies in the winter. I'm hopefully going to get overwhelmed w/ apples from my neighbor's Ginger Gold tree very soon and I'll be putting up most of them some way.
Your apple tree may alternate and not bear much next year. Do you recall if it bore much last year? Can you share a picture of an apple from your tree? If you're in the South it sounds like you have a Lodi.
#14
Old 09-08-2016, 11:21 PM
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On the tree
In the basket

The larger ones had a distinct "Delicious"-type shape, with little feet on the bottoms. Some sources say that the green parts should turn yellowish if they're ripe, but these are still green, green, green. The seeds are brown and there were a few unblemished windfalls, so I think it was time.

We are in the Puget Sound area, so not south at all.

We didn't get any sound apples from it last year. Plenty of wormy windfalls. My husband has pruned it since then, though, and apples from the pruned parts are twice as big as the others.

Last edited by Sattua; 09-08-2016 at 11:24 PM. Reason: Working on photos
#15
Old 09-09-2016, 01:41 PM
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Those are happy, beautiful apples! I can see the feet for sure. What color is the flesh? They remind me the most of Gala, which are a Delicious cross. Have a glance at the beauties on this list.
#16
Old 09-09-2016, 01:56 PM
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Flesh is pure white and oxidizes very quickly. There is a pronounced "floury" texture, though they aren't mealy at all. The applesauce I made yesterday is fantastic--it has real heft to it, if that makes sense.

Gala apples are my go-to storebought variety. These have a very different texture.
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