Available in the fall and early winter months; Empire apples are a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) along with pears and quince. A successful cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh, the Empire contains flavor characteristics of both its parent apples. Empire apples were bred to resist pre-harvest fruit drop and have a low likelihood of developing fireblight, a disease common in the Rosaceae family.

 What’s It Like?

  • Sweet
  • Crisp creamy flesh
  • Juicy


Empire apples can be roasted, baked or sautéed. Their crisp flesh and sweet tart flavor make them perfect for fresh preparations such as chicken salad and coleslaw. They pair well with pumpkin, pear, sharp cheeses and warm spices such as ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sliced or cut apples stay white longer if put in a bowl of water containing two tablespoons of lemon juice. Their size and low susceptibility to bruising make them an excellent snacking apple.

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