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Bramley apples are green to yellow, medium to large with a squat shape. Often they will be blushed with red from sun exposure or spotted with light brown russeting. Their flesh is creamy white tinged with green and has a delicate texture. Bramley apples offer a tart and tangy taste, which they maintain even when cooked. Their low sugar and high acid content causes the flesh to break down and fluff up easily when cooked.
Bramley apples are available in the fall season.
The original Bramley tree planted in the 1700’s is still today producing fruit, though eventually the tree will go barren. In order to preserve this historically important apple scientists recently cloned the original tree and planted the clones at the Millennium Garden at University Park in England.
Bramley apples are low in calories, high in water content and offer a fair amount of vitamins A, C and B. They also contain a dietary fiber known as pectin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and help prevent heart attacks. They also contain trace amounts of boron, which has been touted for its ability to help build strong bones.
The Bramley apple has long been sought after for its excellence as a dessert apple. Its tart flavor marries well in sweet pastries such as tarts, pies and streusels. In the United States firm apples that hold up well when baked are preferred for cooking applications but in the United Kingdom apples such as the Bramley that breakdown and become smooth and fluffy when cooked are preferred. To show off this characteristic try cooked into bread puddings, custards, dumplings and sauces. The flavor of the Bramley apple can be used in savory applications as well. Try cooked into soups or add slices to a pizza or panini. Its flavor pairs well with blue cheese, sharp cheddar, cinnamon, marzipan, berries, almonds, honey, pears and vanilla.
The original Bramley tree was planted in 1809 by Mary Ann Brailsford at her family’s Southwell, England home. In 1846 the home and land containing the tree were sold to a butcher, Matthew Bramley. After residing there ten years a local nurseryman, Henry Merryweather noticed the exceptional fruit being produced by Matthew Bramley's tree and requested to take cuttings to grow his own. Matthew agreed with the condition that the apples be marketed under his name, Bramley. The Bramley apple went on to become immensely popular throughout the United Kingdom winning numerous awards and becoming renowned as the premier dessert apple in England. Today it can still be found growing extensively throughout England as well as at select orchards in the United States and Europe.
Recipes that include Bramley Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.