Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pippin vs. Granny Smith



In one corner:





we have an American heirloom variety, which originated in the late 17th or early 18th century, and was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson.   This is a very firm, tart, 
apple, which often has a rough skin and a brown collar (russeting) around the stem.

Let's hear it for PIPPIN.....

And in the other corner:

we have a hard, crisp, juicy apple, which originated in Australia in 1898.  Maria Ann Smith propagated this new cultivar.  In addition to harvesting apples, she produced many children, and thus the nick name of Granny Smith was born.
This is a sweet, light green beauty that has an excellent shelf life.



Give it up for GRANNY SMITH.....

May the best apple for baking, especially an apple pie, WIN!

I have used Pippins since my apple pie baking days began back in 1968.   I was able to buy Pippins in the Fall at all the grocery stores, probably for 39¢ a pound at one time.
Then, oh about, 10 years ago those Pippin apples couldn't be found as easily, and then I couldn't find them at all, anywhere.  I had to carry on with Granny Smiths.

The Grannies did the job, but not as well. They cook to a much softer texture.  Think chunky applesauce.  The Pippins hold their shape, texture, and apple flavor better when baked.

I missed my Pippins, but being an optimist, continued looking for them every autumn.  I was willing to lay my money down for those superior baking apples, but I could not purchase what was not available.

A couple weeks ago, daughter #2 and her family went to Oak Glen, CA to go apple picking.  On a lark, I said "If they have any Pippins, bring me some--".

The day after their outing, I received an email from April saying, "I have a 1/2 a peck of Pippins for you."  I hopped up and down with excitement.  And then I started planning my October, 2015 trip to buy Pippins at an Oak Glen roadside stand!  I figured a bushel of them would carry me through the apple pie baking months.



A couple days after taking possession of my cherished Pippins, I was shopping at Mother's Market and Kitchen.  As I loaded my cart with organic lettuce, broccoli, and bananas and was checking out the other produce offerings, I glanced down to a bin which, What!, which had 3# bags of organic Pippin applies for $2.99 a bag.  Honestly, I had not seen a Pippin in any grocery store--Whole Foods included--for years.  The Granny Smiths looking more pleasing had over taken the Pippins in the grocery store.
We just might be seeing Pippins again on a yearly basis though, due to rekindled interest in heirlooms.  Fingers crossed.

I made a Pippin pie Sunday, and I did remember correctly.  To me, there is a distinct, wonderful difference.  The Pippins bake to a much different texture, and have a more apple-y flavor.  More complex and just plain delicious.



I have recently come to realize that not everyone shares my strong enthusiasm  about Pippins.  And, that's o.k.

But if I am going to put my time into making an apple pie and Pippins are available, Granny Smiths will be knocked out of the crust in my kitchen.

Does anyone else know what I am talking about? 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and I hope along with your pumpkin pie, you will have  a slice of a Pippin apple pie too.


t.t.f.n. ~ Carol




2 comments:

  1. You should try one with a 50/50 mix. Actually, I suggest experimenting with many different ratios, just to make sure we've found the best taste and texture possible. Even if it takes 50 pies. I will volunteer to be the official taster.

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  2. Would you share your Pippin Apple pie recipe? Sounds good.

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