A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible. ~Welsh Proverb
Included in my small fruit orchard is a wonderful old apple tree that has become my favorite. She is known as Malus domestica – Transparent Apple (also called the Yellow Transparent, June Apple Tree, Russian Transparent and White Transparent), and she is 50 plus years old (maybe that’s why I feel such an attraction). Her gnarly, twisted limbs only add to her beauty and are yet strong enough to hold a black bear in search of a snack.
She dazzles me in early spring with her abundant and glorious blushing white display of blossoms. In fact, she is so early, that she can pollinate all other early blooming and mid-season blooming apple varieties. Did you know that no matter the variety, all apple tree blossoms consist of five petals and each blossom can produce one apple (assuming pollination)?
She produces her fruit biennially, but she is ever so vigorous in her bearing years. Her fruit ripens early, July to August, depending upon the seasonal climate. This year, her fruit ripened later than usual…the cooler spring set her back a bit. Nevertheless, she bore an abundant crop!
The skin of the apple is thin and changes color from pale green to yellow-green to yellow-white as it ripens, giving the appearance of transparency. The flesh is white. Picking the apple while it is still green (before maturity) will yield a more tart flavor. The apple ripens quickly and bruises easily, so don’t try to store it. The fruit is soft, juicy and tart; perfect for applesauce.
The Yellow Transparent apple was originally imported from Russia by the US Department of Agriculture in 1870. How fitting that my Hubby and I should settle on this property, where the apple tree and my husband are both American born, yet share a Russian heritage.
The Yellow Transparent is an old variety that has become a home orchardist’s favorite. You aren’t likely to find this apple at your super grocery mart, but you may get lucky and find it at your local farmer’s market. If you find it, take it home and make applesauce. You won’t regret it.