Spencer is a cross between two of the commercial apple giants of today—Mac and Golden Delicious—which, like Jonathan, are used extensively in modern apple breeding. It was developed by R.C. Palmer in 1926 andintroduced by Canada Department of Agriculture Research Station, British Columbia in 1959. This relatively unknown dessert apple has an avid following of commercial and home orchardists here in Maine and throughout the Northeast. Every so often we receive letters or emails from people who love it. Grower Phil Norris of East Blue Hill wrote that Spencer has “all the sprightliness of Golden Delicious combined with the incomparable sweet-tart ambrosia of a perfectly ripe Mac.”
The large, oblong conic yellow fruit is blushed with a light scarlet red and is crisp, firm, juicy and very sweet. It ripens after McIntosh and keeps relatively well. We recommend it as a dessert fruit. On years when we have included it in the CSA share, it has been among the favorites of the OOAL crew.