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Greensleeves apples are medium sized and round, with a nice color that ripens from pale yellow-green to golden yellow as it hangs on the tree; sometimes the skin has a pink blush where the apple faces the sun while growing. The flesh is creamy white and crisp. The refreshing flavor is both sweet and tangy, although some describe it as unremarkable and simple. Greensleeves is better known for its pronounced juiciness, which it gets from its James Grieve parent. The core of the apple also lacks in woodiness, so a greater proportion can be eaten.
Greensleeves apples are available in the fall.
The Greensleeves apple is a popular English garden variety of Malus domestica. This apple is a result of a cross between the Golden Delicious and a Scottish apple called the James Grieve, marrying qualities of both. Another apple variety called Redsleeves was developed at the same research station in England, but is not related to Greensleeves.
Apples are packed with important nutrients while containing few calories and nutrients such as sodium and fat. One medium-sized apple contains almost 20% of the daily recommended value of dietary fiber, and almost 15% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C. Smaller amounts of boron and Vitamin B are also present in apples.
Greensleeves apples are best used as a dessert variety, eaten out of hand. Since it is so juicy, Greensleeves is also unsurprisingly excellent for pressing into juice and cider. The simple flavor makes it a good choice for kids’ snacks and lunches. It can be used in recipes calling for Golden Delicious, though it will impart a little more acidity. The relatively mild flavor of Greensleeves can pair well with stronger flavors liked aged cheddar or brie cheese. Greensleeves is not a good keeping apple, and should be eaten within about a week after being harvested before it loses flavor and becomes soft. However, they can be left on the tree after ripening for a month or two.
It can be hard to find Greensleeves apples commercially, but it is a quite common garden tree throughout the UK. They are extremely easy to grow and are resistant to many common apple diseases, particularly scab. They are also very attractive, compact trees that produce a large crop of apples every year, starting at only the second year of the tree’s life. The tree produces a shower of beautiful, frost-resistant blossoms that start out scarlet and open to become pink and white. Greensleeves trees are self-fertile, although act as a great pollinating partner to other apple trees.
Greensleeves was developed in 1966 by Dr. F Alston at the East Malling Research Station in Kent, England. It was released to market in 1977, and soon won the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit for its easy-to-grow nature. This apple grows best in temperate climates such as the UK, although it has good frost resistance.