Cosmic Crisp apple

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Cosmic Crisp is an apple variety developed by Washington State University. A cross between ‘Enterprise’ and ‘Honeycrisp’, this fruit is known for its intensely-colored peel and extended storage life. Introduced in 2019, it is now one of the top three club apples in the US by sales volume.

Cosmic Crisp apple

The Cosmic Crisp apple is a club apple cultivar developed at Washington State University. This apple variety (technically named ‘WA 38’) is a hybrid of the Honeycrisp and Enterprise apples.

Cosmic Crisp stands out due to its vibrant, almost complete coloration, unique internal qualities different from its parent varieties, and notably long shelf life when stored in common home storage environments. This variety maintains its crispness, sugar, and acid levels well beyond the storage capabilities of its parent varieties.

The fruit’s appearance is distinct, with full peel color and a unique intensity among apples of its season. The Cosmic Crisp apple gets its name from the striking lenticels on the apple’s surface. It works for both fresh consumption and culinary uses.

Cosmic Crisp was developed by Dr. Bruce Barritt of Kelowna, BC. He holds a Ph.D. in Pomology from Cornell University and went on to do horticultural research at WSU.

WSU filed for the patent (USPP24210P3) in 2012 and the patent is expected to expire in 2032. Introduced to the market in 2019, it quickly gained favor for both eating fresh and cooking.

Cosmic crisp

How to buy Cosmic Crisp apples

Cosmic Crisp apples are now in many local grocery stores. Washington-grown fruits typically ship in October-November and are available throughout the winter.

Speak with your produce department manager to see if they carry this type of apple. You can also check the Where to Buy page to see if these apples come to stores near you.

Cosmic crisp apple slices

Cosmic Crisp apple flavor profile

The Cosmic Crisp apple offers a delightful taste experience. It’s sweet with a hint of tartness, creating a balanced and refreshing flavor. The apple is juicy and boasts a firm, crisp texture that makes each bite satisfying.

The flavor and crispness hold up well, even after months of storage, ensuring a delicious apple experience any time of the year. The slow-to-brown characteristic makes it perfect for packed lunches and fruit trays.

Identifying apple varieties
Some delicious apples! I’ve tried to arrange these ones from sweetest (on the left) to most sour (on the right). The apples pictured are fuji, envy, ambrosia, gala, cosmic crisp, honeycrisp, jazz, pink lady, mcintosh, granny smith

How to store Cosmic Crisps

Store these apples in your refrigerator rather than the counter for the longest shelf life. This will maintain the freshness and flavor until you are ready to enjoy the apples.

The frigid temperatures also help maintain the texture of the apple, which is part of the draw to this variety. When stored properly, these apples last longer than many other apples (especially its similar parent, Honeycrisp).

Inside of cosmic crisp apple

Baking and cooking with Cosmic Crisp apples

Many people have roasted, baked, and sautéed with these delightful apples only to achieve a remarkable result. The high sugar content delivers lots of natural sweetness to whatever you are making. This allows bakers and chefs to reduce the amount of sugar they add to their recipes. A healthier option if you ask me. The high sugar content also means these apples carmelize beautifully.

These apples are not only naturally sweet but also juicy! When baking with these apples, you get a great balance of solids and liquids. Baked goods have the perfect moisture when using Cosmic Crisps. The texture of the apples helps them hold their shape when added to heat.

Planting your own Cosmic Crisp apple tree

Cosmic Crisp apple trees are not yet available to most home gardeners, although WSU has started making them available to home gardeners in Washington State. Hopefully, trees of this new cultivar become more widely available in the future!

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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