‘Pine Golden Pippin’ – A very early English apple from about 1860. A dull green, insignificant-looking heirloom but my own all-time favourite for eating fresh. Cream-coloured flesh, highly aromatic and utterly delicious.
‘Alexander’ – Originally from Russia, but grown in the UK from 1805. Huge, lightweight, sweetly flavoured apple.
‘Catshead’* – Very early English cultivar probably dating from the 1600s. Another great heirloom cooker. Big, heavy, dense apples on a vigorous, disease-resistant tree.
‘Egremont Russett’ – Probably dating from the 1870s, this is one of Britain’s most popular heritage heirloom eating apples. Dull green, heavily russetted but thin edible skin. Brilliant sub-acid sweet flavour.
‘Mutsu’ – Known as ‘Crispin’ in the UK, this Japanese cultivar is from relatively recent breeding. Apples look like giant ‘Golden Delicious’. Soft lemon- yellow with wine-like flesh.
‘Red Fuji’ – Developed in Japan in the 1930s, came to Australia in the 1960s. Heavy crops of rich red fruit with creamy white, sweetly crisp flesh. Great for storing.
‘Granny Smith’ – From a chance seedling from a tree grown by Mrs Thomas Smith of Ryde, NSW, 1868. Australia’s great contribution to the apple world. Suitable for desserts or cooking. Fruit hangs well into winter.
‘Sturmer Pippin’ – Outstanding heritage variety from Sturmer in Suffolk, England, 1831. Resistant to woolly aphid attack. Develops an extraordinary crisp, juicy sweetness after 1–2 weeks in storage.
For all Pete’s tips on growing the best apples, grab a copy of ABC Organic Gardener Essential Guide: Heirlooms OUT NOW!