Summer Sweet

Small, early, mostly yellow, sometimes with a slight blush. The yellow is faint but deepens a little bit with ripening. Usually has russet around the stem area. Sometimes there is russet netting. Often there are bits of russet around the basin rim. Basin is very round and, for a small apple, deep. It looks a bit like a cute little bird's nest or a donut. Distinctive basin. Not one of the first of summer, but usually about the first week of September. Summer Sweet originated on the farm of Ichabod Thomas, Sidney, ME, about 1800. It is sometimes confused with Hightop Sweeting (also called Summer Sweeting), which originated in Plymouth, MA. It is one of several rare varieties that longtime collector and orchardist Earland Goodhue of Sidney introduced to John many years ago. He remembered it as the first apple the neighborhood kids coveted every summer when Earland was growing up in Sidney 90 years ago.

The medium-small, yellow fruit has a beautiful apricot-orange blush. The firm, somewhat dry yellowish flesh has a sweet, yet strange, flavor, best for fresh easting when it’s still on the green side. We begin to pick them around August 10. Cooks up into a nice tropical-flavored sauce—with hints of banana and pineapple—in about ten minutes.