Why you should be excited
Bramley's Seedling is widely considered to be the ultimate British-style cooking apple.
The story of Bramley's Seedling
Folks in the United Kingdom refer to Bramley (they like it so much, they're on a first name basis with this apple) as "the definitive English cooking apple." That means a sharply acidic flavour and the tendency to cook down to a smooth puree.
Translating for those of us in North America: Bramley's Seedling is sublime when used to make applesauce and is well-suited to many desert recipes. Just don't expect firm slices of it to remain after cooking.
First discovered in Nottinghamshire, England in 1809, Bramley's Seedling is well known for the vigour of its trees (which tend to be bigger than just about any other variety, regardless of what rootstock it's grafted onto) and its powerful, classic 'appley' flavour.
This large apple isn't used as much for fresh eating as it is for baking, but it's such a great cooker that you may want to stash a bunch in your fridge to draw on them for cooking throughout the four months or so that they will keep happily in there.
The Brits consider themselves the ultimate apple connoisseurs and we're happy to include this great English cooking apple along with the wonderful Ashmead's Kernel fresh-eating apple among our most heavily-planted varieties. We'd say these two are sturdy evidence in support of that view.
Bramley's Seedling Facts
Discovered in Nottinghamshire, England, 1809.
Flavour, aroma, texture
Juicy, sharply acidic, with a strong and distinctive apple flavour.
Variable due to the large size and inconsistent shape. The skin colour is greenish-yellow, sometimes with red stripes.
When they’re available
Late season (usually around the middle of October).
Quality for fresh eating
Good if you like your apple really tart.
Quality for cooking
Stupendous, although it breaks down when cooked.
Quality for cider
Has been used extensively to add acid to cider blends.
Very good (up to 4 months when kept refrigerated).