Empire Apple - Take  A Bite

The Empire Apple: A Heritage of Flavor

Delve into the fascinating history of the Empire apple, a crisp red fruit born from the rich tapestry of apple cultivation and breeding. Originating in the Cornell University's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in the 1940s, the Empire apple is a testament to the dedication and innovation of horticulturists seeking to create a superior apple variety.  This red, crisp apple variety, picked at the right time and stored using the most modern technology can be enjoyed into late spring.  Come and take a bite!

Discovery at the Experiment Station: The Empire apple's story begins with a seed grown in 1945 at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station of Cornell University. Harvesting thousands of seeds from that first one, the Geneva team from Cornell meticulously selected and evaluated the seedlings, finally releasing the Empire apple as a final selection in 1966 at the New York Fruit Testing Association meeting.

History and Cross: The Empire apple is a cross between two renowned apple varieties, the Red Delicious and the McIntosh. This combination brought together the best of both parents: the vibrant color and elongated shape of the Red Delicious, and the sweet-tart flavor and crispness of the McIntosh. The result was a new apple that quickly gained popularity for its exceptional taste and texture.

Flavors and Characteristics: The Empire apple boasts a crunchy texture, a sweet-tart taste, and a creamy white flesh. Its versatility makes it ideal for various culinary uses, from salads and baking to eating fresh and freezing. With its vibrant red color and elongated shape inherited from the Red Delicious, coupled with the sweet-tart flavor and crispness of the McIntosh, the Empire apple offers a harmonious blend of traits that make it a favorite among apple enthusiasts.

Comparison with Other Apples: When compared to other popular apples like Fuji and Gala, the Empire apple holds its own with its unique flavor profile. While Fuji apples are known for their super-sweet taste and firm texture, and Gala apples offer a mild sweetness and crispness, the Empire strikes a balance between sweetness and tartness, making it suitable for various culinary applications.

Relation to Other Apples: The Empire apple's lineage is deeply rooted in apple history, as it inherits traits from two iconic varieties. From the Red Delicious, it draws its striking red coloration and elongated shape, making it visually appealing and recognizable. The McIntosh contributes its juicy, aromatic flesh and delightful balance of sweetness and tartness, creating a harmonious flavor profile in the Empire apple.

Empire Apple in Today's Orchards: Today, the Empire apple continues to be a beloved choice among apple enthusiasts and growers alike. Its versatility makes it suitable for various culinary uses, from snacking and baking to juicing and cider making. With its firm texture and excellent storage qualities in modern day storages, the Empire apple variety remains a staple in both home kitchens and commercial orchards.

Recipe: Empire Apple Crisp Ingredients:

  • 6 Empire apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, diced


1.   Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

2.   In a large bowl, combine the sliced Empire apples, granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Toss until the apples are evenly coated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.

3.   In a separate bowl, combine the oats, 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, and diced butter. Mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

4.   Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the apples in the baking dish.

5.   Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender.

6.   Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy the warm, comforting flavors of Empire Apple Crisp!


Humorous Joke: Why did the Golden Delicious apple envy the Empire apple? Because it wanted to rule the apple orchard kingdom but couldn't quite match the Empire's sweet-tart reign!

In Conclusion: The Empire apple's journey from breeding to fruition is a testament to the artistry and science of apple cultivation. With its unique blend of flavors, heritage, and versatility, the Empire apple stands as a symbol of innovation and tradition in the world of apples, enriching our culinary experiences and delighting taste buds around the globe.

Empire Apple and Honeycrisp.com: At Honeycrisp.com, we celebrate the heritage and deliciousness of Empire apples by offering them directly from our orchards to your doorstep (From The Farm To Your Door). Our commitment to quality ensures that every Empire apple you receive is fresh, flavorful, and perfect for all your apple-inspired creations.


Check out our youtube video about Empire apples.