At last…the apple season is here. Okay, I know the official historic apple date for celebrating is the 21 Oct, but finally the best early variety, ‘Discovery’ has ripened. At least it has at Hillys (www.hillys.co.uk) against the wall in their garden. Out of all the early apples this is without doubt the best one to grow. It is a red-blushed variety with a slightly pinkish-stained flesh. It is descended from Worcester Pearmain, which accounts for it’s subtle amazing strawberry flavour (the other parent is considered to be the very early, historic apple ‘Beauty of Bath’.)
It is a partial tip bearer, so not ideal for growing as an espalier or cordon. However, I didn’t know that when I planted this cordon in Hilly’s garden when I was seven years old. It still produces a bumper crop – I just have to be careful how I prune it at the end of August each year.
Discovery (like all early varieties) needs to be eaten within a day or two of picking. It ripens at exactly the same time as the blackberries in the hedgerow. Perfect for knocking up into a late-summer crumble or pie, or making into apple and bramble jam.
I recommend eating this while swigging some fiery Normandy calvados (apple brandy) or Pommeau (a blend of two thirds apple juice and one third one year old calvados.)
Below - picking Discovery today in Hilly's garden.