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Macoun apple: A deep red American variety
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While there are lots of delicious apple varieties available, there’s something special about the Macoun Apple.
The Macoun Apple is an American heritage apple variety known for its beautiful peel and creamy fresh apple taste. This medium-sized apple has deep red-purple color with a bit of green and is often shaped irregularly. The flesh is a creamy white color with a delicious hint of berry flavor. The Macoun Apple was developed in 1923 at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.
Read on to learn all about the Macoun Apple!
Macoun apple: The basics
The Macoun Apple is one of the best seasonal specialty apples from the northeast. Macoun is known for its bright sweet-tart effervescent taste and incredibly fine and light texture. The peel is a dark burgundy-red tone while the flesh inside is snow white.
This apple has darker skin than other common types of apples and it might even give off a purplish hue at times. It gets this dark skin from one of its parent cultivars, Jersey Black, and the tart, smooth flesh from the other parent: McIntosh. Macoun is a medium-sized apple and is about 2 and 3/4 inches in diameter.
It also tastes great! It has a sweet and slightly tart flavor that is packed into a crispy bite. There is also a faint berry-like flavor to this apple, which many people love. These apples were created with the intent to be eaten. They are the tastiest when they are picked right off the tree, as they become soft quickly in storage after picking.
Origins of the Macoun apple
They were created by Richard Wellington in 1923 at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. They are named after Canadian horticulturalists W. T. Macoun.
Since its beginnings, Macoun has become more widely accepted as an apple that can also be used for baking even though its original creation was intended for snacking and fresh eating.
“This great apple – the best thing to ever spring from a McIntosh seed – might have conquered the nation ninety years before Honeycrisp if only it had been named something like Purple Haze. Instead, it has flown under the radar, filling the baskets of apple insiders while struggling in the market”Apples of Uncommon Character: Heirlooms, Modern Classics, and Little-Known Wonders, by Rowan Jacobsen
Where are Macoun apples grown?
Macoun Apples were first grown in New York, and have since made quite a home there. They grow best in New York, New England, and many northeastern states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, and Rhode Island. Macoun Apples that are grown in southern areas often lack the characteristic crunchy texture.
These cooler states have become the best place to grow Macoun apples because of the cool nights that help the apple to grow properly and retain their flavor and texture. Cool nights also help it develop that dark red-purple peel hue. Its growing zones are very similar to its parent cultivar McIntosh which also prefers cooler climates.
When is harvest season for Macoun apples?
Macoun Apple’s harvest season is generally in October, but they can be ready in late September in the north or as late as early November in southern regions. This type depends on the cool autumn air to finish off its growth. During that time is when you can expect to see these Macoun apples start to appear in fruit stands and local supermarkets.
The season for this apple is quite a small window. As a matter of fact, many people in the areas where it is grown will wait around for it patiently because it comes and goes so fast that you are bound to miss the window if you are not careful. This apple is by far the best when freshly picked. Macoun Apples grown in the north will keep for a week or two before becoming soft, but southern-grown fruits become mealy almost immediately.
How much do Macoun apples cost?
Macoun Apples generally cost about a dollar per pound. These apples vary in cost, as do most apples. Their cost is dependent upon the market, and their location in the world.
Macoun is an increasingly sought-after apple because of its short availability season. Everyone wants them and they want them enough to pay higher prices for them. Specialty shops and orchards may charge $2-$3/pound for Macoun Apples.
They can be bought online, at a fruit stand nearby, or maybe at your local grocery store. If you are particularly lucky, you might even be able to go to a picking orchard and find a few to choose from for yourself to take home.
How to grow Macoun apples?
To grow Macoun Apple trees you need to know a few things. First off, make sure you are in northeastern states or are located in the hardiness zones of 4 to 8. Other than that it is also important to note that a Macoun Apple tree will need a growing partner! These trees grow best with a pollinator variety nearby. Good pollinating partners for Macoun include Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith.
Macoun Apple trees prefer light and loamy soil to grow in. The tree grows to about 12 to 16 feet tall, so planting it with enough space to grow is important! Don’t forget it will also need adequate water and sunlight to produce amazing fruit.
Macoun Apple trees tend to be smaller than some other varieties at maturity. They also bloom late in the spring apple-bloom season, making them a good choice for home growers in climates with late spring frosts. The trees are somewhat disease resistant but can develop powdery mildew in damp climates with poor air circulation.
How long do Macoun apples store for?
Macoun Apples have a short shelf life. It is best to use or eat them within a few days of picking them. This will help them to better retain their taste and crispness. After all, no one wants a squishy, mealy apple!
If needed, they can last for about 2 weeks in a refrigerated area. It is also suggested that you do not wash the apple until right before you eat it because this allows for it to keep its protective coating for as long as you have it stored.
What types of recipes are Macoun apples most suited to?
Macoun Apples are excellent all-around apples to use in recipes, whether it be a pie, a salad, or just straight into your mouth. Freshly picked Macoun apples are best eaten on their own, as soon as possible (while they still have that satisfying juicy crunch).
Apples that have started to soften a bit are wonderful in apple pies, applesauce, or cider. The thick skin is best peeled off prior to making applesauce or other stewed/cooked recipes. Macoun is one of the best apples for apple pie (particularly when mixed with some Granny Smith apples for added firm texture).