After last year's tragedy apple crop lost here in Michigan, I was really looking forward to getting out and picking some apples this year. We decided to head over to Fruit Acres Farm in Coloma, Michigan. I have been wanting to go to this u-pick farm for years. My in-laws from California met us there in a surprise to our kids. I was most excited about this apple picking trip with the chance to pick and try and new apple, the Blondee. This apple is was discovered by covered Tom and Bob McLaughlin of Portsmouth, Ohio. No genetically modification apple here. It is believed to be related to the Gala apple. It ripens just a few days before Galas around early September. It doesn't have the same color as Gala at all but the shape does look like a Gala.
My Experience with this Apple (Rating Scale 1-10)
Apple Flavor, 8
Where I Got Them, Fruit Acres Farm (Coloma, MI)
Overall Feeling: A wonderful early season apple! A good crunch and juicy. It has really good flavor with some floral notes. One of the best yellow apples I ever had. I enjoy more than Golden Delicious or Golden Supreme and it's on par with Ginger Gold which are available around the same time.
Are Blondee Apples Good for Cooking or Baking?
I tested them out in some mini pies I made. They cooked up nicely. They were able to hold their shape. I don't think cooking them really enhance their flavor, but they aren't a bad option if you have some on hand. They would work well in adding more sweetness to an applesauce made with McIntosh apples that are available at the same time. I think that would be a winning combo.
Farms That Grow Blondee Apples
Fruit Acres Farm (Coloma, MI)
Tree-Mendus (Eau Claire, MI)
Mackintosh Fruit Farm (Clarke County, VA)
McDougal Orchards (Springvale, ME)
Harvest Time Orchards (Twin Lakes, WI)
Tougas Family Farm (Northboro, MA)
Steffens Orchards & Market (Sparta, MI)
Here are some apple related kitchen tools I recommend:
Amco Dial-A-Slice Adjustable Apple Corer and Slicer : Allows you to slice apples into either 8 or 16 pieces
Zyliss Soft Skin Peeler : The best peeler I have ever owned. Does a great job peeling an apple.
Mirro Foley 2-Quart Stainless Steel Food Mill : A great tool for making your own applesauce. You can make the sauce without having to do any peeling.