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Spitzenburg apples are a vibrant red, often capped with an orange to yellow blush and covered in small white lenticels (spots). Its fine-grained flesh is creamy yellow and has a crisp bite. A highly aromatic apple the Spitzenburg has a rich and sweet taste with slight hints of nuts and spice, a flavor that is enhanced in cold storage.
Spitzenburg apples are harvested in the fall.
An American heirloom variety the Spitzenburg apple, also known as Esopus Spitzenburg is parent to another famous American variety, the Jonathon apple.
Spitzenburg apples offer a small amount of vitamins A and C and have only a trace of sodium. They are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which has been shown to help prevent heart disease and promote healthy digestion. Spitzenburg apples also contain potassium, which may reduce the chances of a stroke and a trace amount of boron believed to build bones and to increase mental vitality.
The Spitzenburg apple has long been touted for its excellence as a dessert apple. It can be hollowed, stuffed and baked whole or sliced and added to pies, tarts and galettes. Slow cook and puree sliced Spitzenburg to make sauces and preserves or leave slightly chunky to be used as a topping for both sweet and savory preparations. Diced Spitzenburg will add sweetness and moisture to cakes, waffles and breads. Their slightly spicy flavor makes them an excellent apple for use in juices and ciders.
The Spitzenburg apple was first discovered in the apple district of Esopus, New York in the early 1700’s. It is said to have been a favorite apple of President Thomas Jefferson who had thirty-two trees planted in his orchard at Monticello in the early 1800’s. It was referred to by many in those days as “the first of apples” and was grown extensively in New York and by the 1900’s throughout the United States as well. Susceptible to many common apple diseases its popularity waned with the development of new modern varieties that were resistant to disease and better suited for mass production. Today it can be found growing at orchards that specialize in heirloom varieties.
Recipes that include Spitzenburg Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
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