Homegrown Apples

NOTICE
Apple harvest dates and availability for sale vary from year to year. These dates are averages and are posted as a guide only!
For exact day-to-day harvest information, call our market, subscribe to our AppleButterBlog.com, and/or follow us on our   page.

Yellow Transparent

 
Yellow Transparent

The earliest-ripening variety of them all and one of the oldest, and still a popular favorite of local applesauce makers who prefer a tarter, full-of-flavor apple with that smooth, light texture and wonderful light color (just ask Grandma Kauffman).



Most of July

Earligold


 Earligold
This is a new and improved Lodi-type variety that has "caught on" fast. We think you'll enjoy the light-textured and light-colored applesauce produced by this cultivar. Our orchard manager's wife does - Earligold is her favorite!

 

Late July - Late August

Summer Rambo


 Summer Rambo
A Lancaster County favorite for applesauce and apple pie "from way back" (Rambo was first grown in France in the mid-1500's). They may not be the most handsome apples of all, but the flavor of Summer Rambo apple products will surely win you over!

 

Late July - Mid-August
 

Ginger Gold


 Ginger Gold
Easily our top-selling applesauce variety, Ginger Gold's crunch and flavor are sure to please when eaten "out-of-hand" too. This apple is almost as sweet and tasty as Golden Delicious, but ripens six weeks earlier! It maintains its white flesh well when sliced. Ginger Gold was discovered by a fruit grower in Virginia during the 1970's and named after his wife.

 

Most of August - Early September

Sansa


 Sansa
Here’s the first "real" eating apple of the season. An "offspring" of Gala that originated in Japan, Sansa is well positioned for success with its tremendous flavor, juice, and crunch. Harvest time of this variety is always welcomed as the official start of "Apple Season".

 

Early August - Early September

Golden Supreme


 Golden Supreme
Golden Supreme is the improvement to Golden Delicious that you've been looking for! Golden Supreme features a flavor and texture as impressive as its perennially popular Golden Delicious parent and is a most beautiful, golden-colored apple. Perfect for out-of-hand snacking.

 

Late August - Mid-September

Gala


 Gala
Gala is well on its way to becoming the most popular eating apple in the United States and there are plenty of reasons why! Gala has a glowing red-orange appearance, sweet and wonderful taste, and an excellent "crunch quotient." This variety originated in New Zealand and has both Red Delicious and Golden Delicious in its ancestry.

 

Late August - Christmas

Honeycrisp


 Honeycrisp
The Apple of the Future in our opinion; Honeycrisp is an "explosively crisp" apple, one that people say, "WOW" over! You'll love the light, crunchy texture and excellent sweet flavor that are hallmarks of this variety! Introduced in 1991 at the University of Minnesota. Honeycrisp is also a fine baking apple.

 

Late August - Early October

Smokehouse


 Smokehouse
This variety originated as a chance seedling behind the smokehouse of a Bird-in-Hand farm in the 1800's and has been a Lancaster County specialty ever since. Its green skin color and tart flavor invites comparison with Granny Smith, but Smokehouse ripens eight weeks earlier. Any local old-timer can vouch that this apple is ideal for all cooking, baking, sauce, or salad purposes.

 

First Half of September

McIntosh


 McIntosh
This is a mildly tart and quite aromatic apple that's great for snacking, drying, most cooking purposes, and applesauce - Sam Kauffman's wife Mattie and their branch of the Kauffman family think a Mcintosh + Summer Rambo blend is the way to go for applesauce, and have thought so for decades! McIntosh has for many years been the premier apple grown in the New England states.

 

Mid-September - Thanksgiving

Jonathan


 Jonathan
One of Grandpa Kauffman's favorite eating varieties - he likes them tart and spicy! Jonathan is one of those old favorites that just doesn't go away, and we're not surprised. They're one of the best all-around apples we grow. This variety is especially valuable as a source of "stay firm when baked" flesh for pies and dumplings.

 

Mid-September - Early December

Red Delicious


 Red Delicious
The best known apple on the planet, Red Delicious' primary usage is fresh eating. The original tree was discovered on a farm in Iowa in the 1870's. Red Delicious was originally called "Hawkeye" before Stark Brothers Nursery bought the rights to the apple and renamed it.

 

Mid-September - May

Cortland


 Cortland
An excellent all-around apple prized for its mellow texture, "stay-white-longer" flesh, and red-colored applesauce. Cortland originated in New York State as a cross between McIntosh and Ben Davis over a century ago and its popularity continues unabated, and for good reason!

 

Mid-September - Early December

Grimes Golden


 Grimes Golden
An old-time variety, Grimes Golden is most often used for applesauce and in pies. It is, in fact, Grandma Kauffman's favorite baking variety. A well-kept secret that we here at Kauffman’s are willing to divulge is that Grimes Golden is an excellent snacking apple too - try one soon! This apple is believed to be a parent of Golden Delicious..

 

Mid-September

Empire


 Empire
Red Delicious and McIntosh are the parents of this variety and Empire combines the best traits of each. This apple has been a taste test winner in our market so it will surely be a winner in your snacks, desserts, or salads and will perform equally well as the main ingredient in your apple pies!

 

Late September - Spring

Golden Delicious


 Golden Delicious
This variety is, year in and year out, our best-selling apple. In 2010, our hard-working orchard crew harvested 5084 bushels of Golden Delicious in four weeks' time! We have not heard of anyone who's gone wrong in using Golden Delicious for any purpose in which apples are needed since we began growing this variety back in 1927!

 

Mid-September - Spring

Jonagold


 Jonagold
This very large apple features a mellow texture and a great taste - just what one would expect from a Golden Delicious + Jonathan cross! It has quickly become a popular variety since we began growing it on our orchard in 1989. Try blending Jonagold apples with Golden Delicious or Crispin for a great no-sugar-added applesauce combination.

 

Late September - Spring

Idared


 Idared
Not a well-known apple, perhaps, but Idared will be well regarded after you try it! This cultivar was developed in Idaho and is especially well suited for baking (it holds its shape very well), cooking, and drying uses. Speaking of drying, there’s a good chance that those tart snitz you bought at Kauffman’s are dried Idared apples!

 

Late September - Mid-December

Crispin


 Crispin
Here's a sweet, juicy, firm textured and crispy, white-fleshed variety that was developed in Japan, where they call it Mutsu. These are the ones for you if you enjoy Golden Delicious but wish they’d be a bit firmer. And, there are Lancaster County folks who declare that applesauce from Crispin apples is the best. You'll enjoy trying these in your salads and cooked apple dishes, too.

 

Early October - Spring

Stayman


 Stayman
Discovered around the close of the Civil War by J. Stayman of Leavenworth, Kansas, this seedling of Winesap has long been one of the most popular cultivars we grow. "Rich," "snappy," "distinctive," and "closest thing to bullets we grow" are all terms that describe Stayman's taste and texture very well.

 

Mid-October - March

Rome Beauty


 Rome Beauty
One of the better keeping varieties, Rome is a firm apple with a mild flavor and is especially good for all baking and cooking purposes. Rome is the variety we use most when peeling and coring apples for bakeries and restaurants.

 

Available year 'round. New crop harvested in early October.

Fuji


 Fuji
Unusually sweet and extra crunchy, Fuji was developed in Japan and claims Red Delicious as a parent. This is one of the best new varieties to come along in quite a long while! Fuji is a classic apple for fresh eating and salads and is an outstanding keeper.

 

Mid-September - Spring

Cameo


 Cameo
Pleasingly sweet and crunchy when eaten out-of-hand. Our orchard manager's wife touts Cameo for baking uses, too. Cameo is a new variety which originated in Washington State a few decades ago.

 

Early October - Spring

Braeburn


 Braeburn
A newer variety in the U.S., Braeburn was introduced in New Zealand in 1952. It has been described as having a shelf life "a few days less than a rock." You'll find the back-and-forth sweet/tart flavor this apple possesses to be pleasant for both fresh eating - it's one of our orchard manager's favorites (!) - and for most any cooking recipe that calls for apples!

 

Late October - January

Granny Smith


 Granny Smith
Here's the famous green baking apple that was discovered by Margaret Smith in Australia sometime before 1900. The finished product of this variety is always hard, juicy, and tart - it's perhaps the world's best cooking apple!

 

Late October - January

Goldrush


 Goldrush
Another new variety, one we have high hopes for. You’ll enjoy experiencing this apple both as a fresh-eating winner and in your baked apple dishes. Goldrush is a disease-resistant apple, therefore needing fewer spray applications in the orchard. With its firm texture and spicy taste, Goldrush is a great apple to rush to Kauffman's for.

 

December - January

Pink Lady


 Pink Lady
An explosion of taste and exploding in popularity! Pink Lady is sweetish-tart and very crisp. Pretty pink skin and very white flesh. Really good for eating and, without doubt, a top contestant for the nod for baking's winning apple.

 

Early November - February
NOTICE
Apple harvest dates and availability for sale vary from year to year. The above dates are averages and are posted as a guide only!
For exact day-to-day harvest information, call our market, subscribe to our AppleButterBlog.com, and/or follow us on our page.

Apple FAQApple FAQ's

What is the best variety for fresh eating?
We are constantly looking for the "perfect" apple. We haven't found it yet, but we think some of the vareties we grow get really close! Although everyone has their own preferences, there are some apples that seem to "have it all" when it comes to fresh eating.

  1. I want a sweet, crunchy apple.
    Try Sansa, Golden Supreme, Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, Crispin, Cameo, or Fuji.

     
  2. I want a mildly tart and crisp apple.
    Try Honeycrisp, Empire, Jonagold, Braeburn, or Pink Lady

  3. I want a tart and crunchy apple.
    Try Smokehouse, Jonathan, Stayman, Granny Smith, or Goldrush.

  4. I want an apple that is flavorful with a more mellow texture.
    Try McIntosh, Cortland, Idared, or Jonagold.

Apple FAQHow many quarts of applesauce can I expect from a half-bushel basket/bag of apples?
10 quarts.

What is the best variety for applesauce?
Our most popular applesauce apple is Ginger Gold; however, personal preference comes into play quite a bit on this question. The opinions we hear generally fall into one of these categories:

  1. I want a thin, smooth sauce.
    The early varieties - Transparent, Earligold, & Summer Rambo - supply this texture.

     
  2. I want a mildly tart and crisp applesauce.
    Try Honeycrisp, Empire, Jonagold, Braeburn, or Pink Lady.

     
  3. I want a naturally sweet sauce that doesn't need a lot of sugar added to it.
    This category is continually increasing in popularity. Use Jonagold, Fuji, Cameo, Gala, Golden Delicious, Golden Supreme, Ginger Gold, or Crispin. Some of the Kauffman wives cook the apples in apple cider instead of water to add natural sweetness.

     
  4. I like a tart applesauce and don't mind adding sugar.
    Varieties listed in category #1 are good options. You may also want to try Smokehouse, Cortland, McIntosh, Stayman, Goldrush, or Granny Smith.

Apple FAQIs it a good idea to blend varieties when making applesauce?
We recommend it! Just as the flavor, body, smoothness, and sweetness of apple cider are enhanced by using a mix of varieties, so it works for applesauce. We suggest using at least one tart and one sweet apple.

Which apple is the best variety for baking?
Again, this depends heavily on your preferences. Most people use a tart or slightly tart apple for optimum flavor. Our top-selling baking apples are Jonathan, McIntosh, Idared, Rome, Stayman, and Granny Smith. New varieties that are baking favorites of our employees are Ginger Gold, Empire, Jonagold, Cameo, and Goldrush. Give these a try, you'll love them!

What is the life expectancy of an apple tree?
Our orchards are replaced roughly every 20 years. This is not necessarily so much because of the trees' health, but rather to stay abreast of trends in varieties, orchard training systems, and customer preferences.


All information and images copyright of Kauffman's Fruit Farm & Market · 3097 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird-in-Hand, PA 17505 · 717-768-7112