There are numerous strains of the famous pie apple, Gravenstein. This deep purple-red strain can be found in old orchards in southern Maine. Mary Jones used Red Gravensteins from Sweetser’s Orchard in Cumberland to win the Maine State Pie Championship a few years ago. She recalled the taste as “sweet but very hard to describe…real nice…full-bodied…wonderful flavor.” The fruit ripens earlier than most cooking apples, over the course of several weeks. It’s a minor miracle that Mary somehow saved this late summer apple until January for the State Championship.