One of our favourite apples: Empires, at their best, are crisp, sweet apples with great flavour, lovely white flesh, juicy and refreshing – a true 5 Star fruit. The trick with Empire apples is crispness and decent sugar levels, quite difficult to acheive given the soft parentage of MacIntosh: the best retailers manage such quality, but if you expereince some softness, complain!
Origin:The variety originates in New York state (NE USA) from a cross between the flavoursome, but soft MacIntosh and the crisp but bland Red Delicious, creating the best of both parents (rare!).
Grown in: Empires are mainly grown across New York State, USA and Ontario in Canada, where the deep cold winters and hot summers produce this delightful apple. Recently, Empires are being grown in England and they certainly look the part. Our experience so far is that the English version is very satisfying, but whether it quite beats the excellence of the US / Canadian fruit remains to be seen.
Harvest & Availability: Empire apples are only grown in the northern hemisphere, being harvested in September. However, Empires store very well, and modern storage techniques allow up to 10 months sales without serious deterioration of quality.
October to June: from Belgium, England, USA, Canada