A new apple variety introduced in 2010 Christmas Pippin produces apples that are crisp, juicy and sweet with a nice, rich taste. It is a chance seedling hence being named ‘Pippin’, like other varieties arising from seed. Though its parentage is uncertain it has been dubbed the ‘garden Cox’ but is easier to grow.
The round conical apples are flushed scarlet over pale green / yellow skin. The red flush is not so heavy as to hide the underlying colour. Cropping can be heavy so thinning early summer to one or two fruits per cluster may be required to ensure a good fruit size. Christmas Pippin ripens in October and will keep until December but not much longer.
The original tree was found close to the M5 motorway in Somerset by Geffrey Rowson in 2003. Though one might expect it to be the result of a core thrown out of a passing vehicle it seems more likely that the seedling grew because there were previously orchards in the area and the apple was a windfall.
After a promising response to the apples of this ‘new’ variety some trees were grown and assessed. The name ‘Christmas Pippin’ decided upon by Mr Rowson. Its introduction to the public came in 2010 through FP Matthews who also arranged for it to be planted on three separate sites with other varieties for suitability assessment for commercial growing.
Photo courtesy of FP Matthews Ltd