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22.01.24

9 Things You Should Know About Bramley Apples

Bramley apples are an extremely popular variety of apples in the UK, known for their distinct flavour and texture.

They are most commonly used in cooking and there are loads of great recipes that can be made even better with the addition of Bramley apples.

You’ve probably come across this fruit before, but have you ever really stopped to think about where it comes from or what makes it so great?

Well, that’s exactly what we’re about to do.

Here are nine things you should know about Bramley apples.

1. It was first grown in the 19th century

The Bramley apple originated in Nottinghamshire, England in 1809, where it was first grown by Mary Ann Brailsford. The original tree is said to have been grown from pips (seeds) that she planted in a pot and later into the cottage garden.

But despite being planted some 50 years earlier, the first recorded sale of a Bramley wasn’t until 1862 when accounts show that three Bramley apples would cost you two shillings.

2. The acidity makes them ideal for cooking

Bramley apples are known for their sharp, tangy flavour but this isn’t the only reason they are great for cooking and baking. They have a high acidity level which balances well with sugar in recipes.

Not only this, but the composition of the fluffy, light flesh makes them ideal for creating a smooth applesauce or a chunky apple filling.

And, as they don’t turn mushy when cooked, they are suitable for pies, crumbles, chutneys and loads of other wonderful creations.

3. But sugar is often required to balance the tartness

When cooking or baking with Bramley apples, it’s common to balance the tartness of the apple with sugar.

Cinnamon and other warm spices can also pair well with this flavour and some of the most popular Bramely recipes include traditional apple pie, apple crumble, apple sauce and apple cobbler.

4. You can also eat them raw

While Bramleys are great for cooking with, many believe this is the sole purpose of these apples and that they can’t be eaten raw.

This simply isn’t true and you can also enjoy them fresh like you would any other apple.

That being said, it’s worth noting that they have a much sharper flavour when they haven’t been cooked which isn’t for everyone.

5. Over 350 million Bramley apples are consumed each year

Some 100 million fresh Bramley apples are consumed in the UK each year, bought as raw apples. If that wasn’t enough, a further 250 million apples will be processed to create other delicious apple-based recipes before being consumed, totalling a whopping 350 million.

6. Brits are the number one consumers

It comes as no surprise that most Bramley apples are available in the UK as this is the birthplace of this delicious fruit. However, they can also be found in some other countries that also have a well-stocked selection of apple varieties.

That being said, the demand outside the UK is far smaller, so for the most part, those that do require Bramley Apples will export them directly. And for the most part, this is usually consumers who have once lived or cooked in the UK but now live abroad and still want access to these tangy fruits.

7. The trees produce an abundance of apples

The Bramley apple tree itself has some unique characteristics and they are known for their vigorous growth and ability to produce an abundance of fruit.

Despite being such a large, strong tree, often the branches need extra support to help them bear the weight of the vast quantities of apples they are growing.

8. They can be stored for year-round access

Although these apples are picked at around the same time each year and are considered seasonal, they have good keeping qualities which means they can be stored for several weeks in a cool, dark place.

Refrigeration can also extend their shelf life, as well as processing them (for example, pulping them) to keep them fresher for longer. This means that Bramley apples are usually available year-round in the UK, so you’ll never go without them.

9. The original tree is still going

Let’s end on a very impressive note.

Despite being knocked over during violent storms in 1900, the original Bramley apple tree has survived and is still bearing fruit over 200 years after it was originally planted.

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