Why you should be excited

Pristine is about as gorgeous and delicious as an early apple can get. It even keeps fairly well.

The story of Pristine

This is yet another of the modern ‘co-op’-produced apple varieties from the good people at Illinois, Indiana and Purdue Universities. Their track record of producing fine new apple varieties that don't need to be sprayed with tons of chemicals to produce well is remarkable. 

And Pristine has got to be one of their best. Others include GoldRushJonafree, PriscillaRedfreeWilliams' Pride and Prima among others in our orchard.

This is a high-quality apple coming from trees that are extremely productive. The fruit keeps much better than most early apples, although that's admittedly not saying a whole lot. But for an apple that's ripe this early, Pristine is a pretty incredible find.

For those interested in what it's like to grow Pristine, we're happy to report that it's a fast-growing tree that's easy to keep happy, blooms early and often and has generally good disease resistance.

Here's the part you should care about most: the fruit is a beautiful lemon-yellow, with a perfect finish. It looks a little bit like Transparent, but is much firmer, less acidic and far better-quality eating. Higher in sugar content than most early apples, Pristine won't make you think it's a lemon, despite its colour.

In decent weather years, we have lots of Pristine fruit on hand, sometimes even before August and we sell the last of our fresh Pristine apples before the end of the summer.

Nice to cook with, even better to eat fresh, Pristine is a variety we're thrilled to include among our top 25 apple varieties at Salt Spring Apple Company.

Pristine Facts

Its origins

Bred in Indiana, USA; 1994 introduction.

Flavour, aroma, texture

High quality flavour and texture for an early apple. High sugar content.


Excellent. Medium-to-large size, lemon yellow skin colour, often with a red blush.

When they’re available

Very early (usually in late July).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking


Keeping ability

So-so (about a month when kept refrigerated) – better than most early varieties.