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Fresh Apples

Varieties & Harvest Dates - Arranged In Order of Harvest

NOTICE
Weather conditions often cause ripening dates and fruit availability to vary from year to year. During some harvest seasons, some apples are available before or after the dates shown in this schedule. This schedule shows typical dates and is posted for customer reference, but please don't depend solely on it.

Harvest Update July 5, 2017
The peach harvest is, at this point anyway, about a week earlier than average, with freestone peaches expected about July 25. Since crops ripen according to growing degree days (similar to heating degree days), things tend to moderate closer to average as the season progresses. Still, we can expect to be early on most apple varieties from July through mid-September, but not likely more than a week earlier than average. Later apples are typically more in line with average harvest dates.

For best satisfaction, we recommend that you contact us for accurate fruit inventory details before you come to our market, or subscribe to our email news and/or follow us on Facebook for notices we may post there.

Yellow Transparent

Yellow Transparent

Most of July

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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 wonderfully attractive light color (just ask older Kauffman ladies like Minerva or younger ones like Tony’s wife Jody (About Us).

Best Alternate: Earligold or Summer Rambo

Earligold

Earligold

Late July - Late August

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This is a new and improved Transparent-type variety that has "caught on" fast with Lancaster County applesauce aficionados like board president Ken's wife Ellen (About Us) - Earligold is her favorite! We think that you too will greatly enjoy the light-textured, light-colored and full flavored applesauce that are hallmarks of this cultivar which originated in Washington state a number of years back.

Best Alternate: Yellow Transparent or Summer Rambo

Summer Rambo

Summer Rambo

Late July - mid-August

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A grass green-colored Lancaster County favorite for applesauce and apple pie "from way back" - Summer 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 – and everyone around the table – over quickly!

Best Alternate: Earligold or Smokehouse

Ginger Gold

Ginger Gold

Early August - Early September

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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 after a tragic storm in 1969 and named after his wife.

Best Alternate: Earligold or Golden Supreme

Sansa

Sansa

Early August - Early September

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Here’s the first "real" eating apple of the season. An "offspring" of Gala and also related to Jonathan (now you know why everyone loves Sansa!) that originated in Japan, Sansa is well positioned for success with its tremendous flavor, juice, and crunch. You needn’t just take our word but can read this article to see what a “foodie” blogger says about this variety. Harvest time of this variety is always welcomed as the official start of "Apple Season".

Best Alternate: Zestar or Gala

Zestar

Zestar!® (Minnewashta cultivar)

Late August - Early October

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“Finally, an early season apple with a crisp, juicy texture and an exciting, zesty flavor with a hint of brown sugar! Its outstanding texture, flavor, and storage life are sure to make Zestar an early-season winner.” So say the folks at the University of Minnesota, who developed this NEW variety. If you doubt their word, you need only stop in at our market in September or October to give this selection a try! Helpful Hint: The U of M people know a few things about outstanding fresh-eating apples – they introduced the world to Honeycrisp a few years ago, you know!

Best Alternate: Sansa or Honeycrisp

Golden Supreme

Golden Supreme

Late August - mid-September

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Golden Supreme is the improvement to Golden Delicious that you've been looking for! This apple 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 – consider these reviews - and excellent for drying & baking and for making cider.

Best Alternate: Ginger Gold or Golden Delicious

Gala

Gala

Late August - Most of Winter

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Gala is well on its way to becoming the most popular eating apple in the United States and there are, website sales staff Ann Fisher and maintenance staff Ken Weaver want you to know, plenty of reasons why! Gala has a glowing red-orange appearance, sweet & wonderful taste, and an excellent "crunch quotient." This variety originated in New Zealand and includes both Red Delicious and Golden Delicious in its ancestry.

Best Alternate: Zestar or Sansa

Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp

Late August - Early October

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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.

Best Alternate: Zestar or Crimson Crisp

Smokehouse

Smokehouse

Most of September

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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 antique apple with the “lively” flavor is ideal for all cooking, baking, sauce, and salad purposes. We’d be interested in knowing how your sauce or baked apple dishes using this antique, PA Dutch Country fixture variety turned out – just let us know.

Best Alternate: Summer Rambo or Grimes Golden

McIntosh

McIntosh

Mid-September - Thanksgiving

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

Best Alternate: Cortland or Empire

Jonathan

Jonathan

Mid-September - Early-December

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One of the late Raymond Kauffman's (Carl's dad, Lonnie's grandpa) favorite eating varieties - he liked 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.

Best Alternate: Jonagold or Idared

Red Delicious

Red Delicious

Mid-September - Spring

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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.

Best Alternate: Golden Delicious or Cameo

Grimes Golden

Grimes Golden

Mid-September - Early November

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Take it from Great-grandma Minerva Kauffman (Carl's mom, Lonnie's grandma) who would want you to know that Grimes Golden is a pie and cooked-apple-dishes variety of extraordinary properties. Her family suspects that she hasn’t willingly used other apples for said purposes since sometime back in the 1960’s or 70’s! We’re also willing to divulge the (too long kept) secret that this old cultivar is a great-tasting fresh eating apple (especially for folks who enjoy a bit more mellow texture). It’s available at our market during the autumn months. Grimes Golden was discovered by Thomas Grimes in West Virginia in 1804 and is believed to be a parent of Golden Delicious.

Best Alternate: Ginger Gold or Golden Delicious

Cortland

Cortland

Mid-September - Early December

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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!

Best Alternate: McIntosh or Empire

Crimsoncrisp

CrimsonCrisp

Mid-September - Most of Winter

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CrimsonCrisp, true to both parts of its name, is the newest taste and texture sensation here at Kauffman's! Its bright, attractive coloration invites a lot of attention. But, wonderfully, this variety may taste even better than it looks! CrimsonCrisp has quickly become a favorite of Kauffman family members like Albert, Clair, Daniel, Monica, Stanley and Tony. If a CRUNCHY sweet-tart fresh-eating and salad apple is what you're waiting on and Honeycrisp is out of season, CrimsonCrisp might just be the one! Have a review to share? Post it on the Reviews tab right here.

Best Alternate: Zestar or Honeycrisp

Empire

Empire

Late September - Most of Winter

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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, and salads; and, it will perform equally well as the main ingredient in your apple pies!

Best Alternate: Cortland or Red Delicious

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious

Mid-September - Spring

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This variety is, year in and year out, our best-selling apple. In 2014, our hard-working orchard crew harvested 2423 bushels of Golden Delicious in three 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!

Best Alternate: Golden Supreme or Grimes Golden

Jonagold

Jonagold

Late September - Most of Winter

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

Best Alternate: Jonathan or Crispin

Idared

Idared

Late-September - Mid-December

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Not a well-known apple, perhaps, but Idared will be well-regarded after you try it! This cultivar was developed at the University of Idaho's Agricultural Experiment Station (now you'll understand that the word is pronounced “Ida-red” and not “I-dared”!) 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 apple schnitz you bought at Kauffman’s are dried Idared apples!

Best Alternate: Jonathan or Rome

Crispin

Crispin

Early October - Spring

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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 - Clair Kauffman and his family (About Us) should be included in this number! You'll enjoy trying Crispin in your salads and cooked apple dishes, too.

Best Alternate: Golden Delicious or Cameo

Stayman

Stayman

Mid-October - March

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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. And check this out - notice what these consumers say about Stayman’s stay-ability even in the 21st century!

Best Alternate: Rome or Goldrush

Rome Beauty

Rome Beauty

Early October - Spring

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One of the better keeping varieties, Rome is a firm, attractively colored 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. You won’t want to wait too long to sample Arianna’s Apple Dumplings, which we try to keep on our market shelves and which are made with Rome Beauty peeled apples purchased from Kauffman’s Fruit Farm.

Best Alternate: Stayman or Idared

Fuji

Fuji

Mid-September - Spring

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Unusually sweet and extra crunchy, Fuji was developed in Japan and claims Red Delicious as a parent. A number of Kauffman staff, including Glenn Kauffman, Ken Weaver, and Albert Kauffman (About Us) think that 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.

Best Alternate: Cameo or Braeburn

Cameo

Cameo

Early October - Most of Winter

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This apple, we think you may quickly agree, pretty much “has it all” with its pleasingly sweet flavor, big crunch, and good keeping qualities. The thin skin evident in Cameo, in addition to these other great attributes, only enhances its fresh-eating pleasure. Believed to be related to both Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, Cameo was discovered in Washington State in 1987. Orchard manager Clair's mom Ellen Kauffman touts this variety for baking purposes also.

Best Alternate: Fuji or Braeburn

Granny Smith

Granny Smith

Late October - January

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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 most widely-known cooking apple! Clair Kauffman, our orchard manager, thinks that Granny Smith are great for out-of-hand crunching, too!

Best Alternate: Stayman or Pink Lady

Goldrush

Goldrush

Thanksgiving - Spring

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Another new variety, and one we have high hopes for. You’ll enjoy experiencing this apple both as a fresh-eating winner (long-time market staffer Calvin Fisher and orchard manager Clair Kauffman both recommend it) and in your baked apple dishes. Being a disease-resistant apple (developed through the combined efforts of Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Illinois), Goldrush needs fewer spray applications during the growing season. With its firm texture and spicy taste, Goldrush is a great apple to rush to Kauffman's for.

Best Alternate: Granny Smith or Pink Lady

Pink Lady

Pink Lady

Early November - Spring

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An explosion of taste and exploding in popularity! Pink Lady, which was developed in Australia and includes Golden Delicious in its “pedigree”, is sweet-tart with an outstanding(!) flavor and is very crisp in texture. The pretty pink skin and very white flesh only add to the attractiveness of this new variety, which has become a favorite of a three-generation line of Kauffman staff – Grandpa Dave, son Tony, and grandson Ryan (About Us). We suspect that Pink Lady has fine cooking and baking properties, too; how about letting us know how they perform!

Best Alternate: Braeburn or Goldrush

Frequently Asked Questions About Apples

Fresh Eating 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 varieties 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.

  • I want a sweet, crunchy apple.
    Try Sansa, Golden Supreme, Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, Crispin, Cameo, or Fuji.
  • I want a mildly tart and crisp apple.
    Try Honeycrisp, Empire, Jonagold, Braeburn, or Pink Lady
  • I want a tart and crunchy apple.
    Try Smokehouse, Jonathan, Stayman, Granny Smith, or Goldrush.
  • I want an apple that is flavorful with a more mellow texture.
    Try McIntosh, Cortland, Idared, or Jonagold 

Applebutters How 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:

  • I want a thin, smooth sauce.
    The early varieties - Transparent, Earligold, & Summer Rambo - supply this texture.
     
  • I want a mildly tart and crisp applesauce.
    Try Honeycrisp, Empire, Jonagold, Braeburn, or Pink Lady.
     
  • 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.
     
  • 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 Crate Is 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.

 

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