The Jonathan apple is a medium-sized sweet apple, with a touch of acid and a tough but smooth skin.Fruit from trees that have limited sun exposure during the ripening process will often have vertical red striping and subtle spots on the skin. Trees that are exposed to more sun will take on a deeper red to purple hue. The fine textured flesh of the Jonathon apple is creamy yellow in colour with a crisp bite and lots of juice. Its flavor is mildly sweet with a tart tang and subtle hints of spice.
There are two alternative theories about the origin of the Jonathan apple.The first is that it was grown by Rachel Negus Higley. Mrs. Higley gathered seeds from the local cider mill in Connecticut before the family made their journey to the wilds of Ohio in 1796 where she planted them.She continued to carefully cultivate her orchard to maturity and named the resulting variety after a young local boy that frequented her orchard: Jonathan Lash.The other, and more accepted, theory is that it originated from an Esopus Spitzenburg seedling in 1826 from the farm of Philip Rick in New York. Although it may have originally been called the “Rick” apple, it was soon renamed by Judge Buel, President of Albany Horticultural Society, after Jonathan Hasbrouck, who discovered the apple and brought it to Buel’s attention.
Apples are one of our favourite fruits to bake with — they’re inexpensive, easy to find, available year round, and last a long time. Whether they’re baked into a pie, grated into muffins, or shingled into a beautiful tart, this fruit can do it all.