Monday, February 27, 2012

Lady Alice Apples


     I used to be known for my long red hair. As in "Go ask the woman with the long red hair; you can't miss her." Now, I'm known for apple consumption. :-) Yesterday at the grocery store, the clerk saw me, smiled, and said "You are the lady that likes new apples, right?"


     According to the Rainier Fruit Company's website, The Lady Alice variety was named after the company founder's mother, Alice, who was instrumental in the successful growth of Rainier Fruit. It was discovered by chance on a farm near Gleed, Washington in 1978; the result of a grower accidentally cutting an apple tree with his farm equipment - a disc from this plow hit at the bottom of a red delicious tree. The tree send out another branch which did not look like the rest of the tree. The fruit it would go on to produce was also very different than a red delicious. This new variety was thus created by accident, so the actual parents of this apple are a mystery. Upon looking at the apple it has some yellow patches that look like a Golden Delicious.Over the next 25 years, steps were taken to preserve and propagate the chance seedling's distinctive characteristics.

     The Lady Alice is a dense, crisp fruit with a delicious apple cider like juice to it. It has a remarkable sweet/tart taste that is perfect for snacking. I found I liked the Lady Alice best of all the new apple varietals I've tried this year. I enjoyed it cut up with a little almond butter, and I also enjoyed just eating it plain out of hand.I've not baked with it yet, but have plans to experiment with some as a baked dessert.

      Unlike many apple varieties, the Lady Alice is slow to brown when cut – making it perfect for salads and fruit trays. The Lady Alice can also be used in a variety of cooking and baking recipes. Its heirloom-like flesh ( meaning dense )  helps it retain its texture when heated at high temperatures.

     Of all the various apple reports I've posted in the past 6 months, I can't recommend the Lady Alice more highly. It is crisp and sweet, but not as crisp and sweet as a Honeycrisp.  It is juicy, but not as juicy as the Junami. I loved Sonya apple - and now I've got another variety to add to the "must buy" list: The Lady Alice.