Envy apples

Envy™ apples are sweet, juicy specialty apples with classic red coloring and a rounded shape. The flavor is sweet, and the texture is crisp, providing a satisfying crunch when eaten fresh. The pale flesh is also very slow to brown when cut, making it perfect for apple slices and salads. Envy apples are quickly becoming one of the most popular specialty club apples.

Envy apple basics

Envy apples were developed in New Zealand in 1985 by the crown corporation Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Limited (now part of the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research). Envy™ is the trademarked brand name for an apple tree variety named ‘Scilate’. These apples are now grown around the world, including in apple-growing regions of the United States and Europe.

The Envy apple is a cross of the Royal Gala and Braeburn apples. Like Envy, both of these parent apples are from New Zealand. The Gala was developed as a seedling in the 1930s, while the Braeburn was discovered as a chance seedling in the 1950s.

The Royal Gala apple is one of the most-grown types of apples in the world and is known for its excellent crisp, sweeter taste. The Braeburn is known for its balanced sweet-tart taste, as well as its storage ability and perfect cooked texture in pies and tarts.

The Envy Apple was created with the natural cross-pollination of these previously-discovered named cultivars. This sweet variety has no genetic modification (they are non-GMO) and uses organic cultivation. These apples were bred as natural plants using centuries-old breeding techniques.

Like the Envy Apple, the popular ‘Jazz’ was also bred from Royal Gala and Braeburn. So, while Envy apples and Jazz apples are not quite the same, they are sibling varieties.

“The new variety was selected from a population of seedlings derived from crossing the apple varieties ‘Royal Gala’ and ‘Braeburn’. The cross was made in 1985 on trees located on land controlled by the Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Limited at Havelock North, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.”

Apple tree variety named ‘Scilate’, US Patent US20080209602P1

Envy apples are grown through the Integrated Fruit Production Method, which takes environmental concerns into consideration during production. This method involves minimal usage of insecticides or fungicides, and even then, it’s highly controlled.

Red envy tm apple held in hand

Envy apple flavor profile

Envy apples are sweet with a well-balanced hint of crisp tartness. The taste is reminiscent of a gourmet Asian pear, with aromatic notes of florals and vanilla. The sweet flavor is a lovely contrast to the crunchy, firm apple texture.

They have thick red skin with a yellow-green background. This peel helps to give them that satisfying “crunch” when you bite into them. These apples also have tiny dotted white lenticels (pores), with the specks visible on the skin.

Envys have a similar appearance to Honeycrisp, but generally with a larger area of red blush in the peel. The thick peel is generally removed in cooked applications such as applesauce and apple pie.

Envy apples have naturally white flesh that tends to brown slowly. This makes this variety perfect for fresh snacks like salads or fresh fruit and vegetable trays.

Envy apples in box - envy apple box
Usa-grown envy boxes for sale at costco in january 2022

Envy apple growing regions

Envy™ apples are grown in both hemispheres, making them available for purchase year-round. Here are some of the main growing regions:

  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Chile
  • USA
  • UK
  • France

Envy trees are not currently available to home gardeners. Suitable alternatives include Cripps Pink apple trees, Honey Crisp apple trees, and Fuji apple trees. These varieties have similar characteristics and are available as young apple trees from specialty tree nurseries.

Harvest season for Envy apples

Envy apples ripen late in the apple growing season compared to others. In their native New Zealand, Envy apples are typically harvested in April. In northern-hemisphere regions such as Washington state, these late-season apples typically ripen in October. Actual harvest dates vary by region and weather conditions in a given year.

Envy™ apples are available year-round as they are grown in many different areas worldwide. If you’re in North America, look for fresh Washington-grown apples in autumn/winter and fresh New Zealand-grown apples in spring/summer.

Fresh in April

  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Chile

Fresh in October

  • USA
  • UK
  • France
  • Italy
Price tag for envy apples at grocery store

Tips for buying Envy apples

Envy apples typically have fairly high-quality control due to their limited distribution. Look for apples with no visible bruising for the longest potential shelf life. Envy apples are available at supermarkets, including Kroger and Walmart.

Envy apples are large, about 3 inches (8 cm) across. They often weigh 8 oz (0.5 lb, 225 g). There are generally two Envy apples in one pound. They cost about $2.50 per pound ($5.50 per kg). A single apple might cost $1.25 when purchased at the grocery store.

Apples can be stored at room temperature for a few weeks or placed in the crisper of the refrigerator for longer-term storage of up to several months. Apples in commercial storage are kept in climate-controlled conditions to allow for months-long storage prior to international shipping.

Weight of an envy apple
One pound of envy apples on a scale - weight shown

What to make with Envy apples

Envy apples are incredibly versatile in recipes. They have all the all-around benefits and sweet taste of the Gala, plus the perfect apple-pie-crunch texture of the Braeburn. And then there’s the fact that it takes about 8 hours for them to turn brown after being sliced. They really are enviable!

These apples are perfect on a cheese board with mild and aged cheeses. The sweet apple’s fresh fruity flavor is a lovely pairing with savory main dishes, green salads, juice, and white wine. The hint of acidity keeps these apples from browning too quickly on the plate.

Baking with Envy apples

Envy apples are great for baking, as they combine the sweetness of Gala apples with the texture of Braeburns. This includes pie, cakes, crisps, and other desserts (or even savory baked apples). Use them all on their own, or combine them with other types for a varied texture in your seasonal favorites.

Envy apple recipes

Here are some of the best apple recipes to try:

Envy™ is a trademark of T&G Global.

Substitute for Envy apples

When looking for a substitute for Envy™ apples, look first to their sibling, the Jazz™ apple. Jazz apples can be used in recipes in the same way that their larger relatives can. For fresh eating, Ambrosia, Cripps Pink, and Honeycrisp apples are excellent. And Ambrosia is slow to brown like Envy!

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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