Pristine apples are one of the first varietals of apples to bear fruit in the growing season. Available in late summer, these are at their peak this year for Rosh Hashanah, which falls in early September.
These round, small- to medium-sized apples are yellow in color with a crisp texture, a bright, fresh taste, high sugar and low acid content. They are especially good eating apples, and stand up well to robust flavors — like honey.
If you manage to get your hands on enough of these to take you past the High Holidays, be sure to store them in the refrigerator and enjoy them quickly. Early varietals do not have the shelf life of later apples and will only hold their flavor and texture for a few weeks.
A relatively new varietal, pristine apples were originally introduced to the market in 1994 as a result of a cooperative breeding program launched by growers in Illinois, Indiana and New Jersey. These farmers sought to cultivate breeds that do not require much chemical spraying, which is better for consumers, the environment and reduces agricultural costs.
Here are some delicious ways to enjoy pristine apples — and other varietals, too.
• Slice sharp cheddar and pristine apples for a tasty, healthy snack.
• Ditch the jelly. Slice pristine apples and layer them on a peanut butter or almond butter sandwich.
• Swirl honey into Greek yogurt and dip apple slices.
• Chop apples and sprinkle them on oatmeal or muesli for breakfast.
• Try them for dessert. Slice them and spread them with Nutella, or dip them in chocolate, caramel or dulce de leche sauce. It’s healthier than cake and ice cream and still plenty indulgent.