We found a U-Pick apple orchard–with at least 20 different kinds of apples–about a 45 minute drive from our house. It’s also near a state park, so we picked first, then went hiking.
We picked Winesap and Jonathans for baking, Melrose for eating, and a few Empire, as an experiment. We have a bushel–divided evenly between the baking and the cooking apples. We also picked up a half gallon of cider.
I don’t think Empires are good cooking apples, though some sources say they are, they’re decent eating apples, though. They have a thick skin, so they don’t bruise easily and ship well. My experience has been that they don’t store well, they get mushy.
They’re a Cornell cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious that dates back to about 1945.
Wow. I used to love Empires but I haven’t had a good one in years, even from the u-pick places.
My family loves Honeycrisps which we only buy on sale because they are very spendy here. And we don’t see any Winesap either. Lots of Macs, Courtlands, and Macouns. Or at the store lots of West Coast varieties like Gala and Lady Alice.