French Heirloom Apples

mrsg47(7)May 22, 2013

Was doing a little research today and am thinking about a French Heirloom apple. They sound delightful. I like the apple that appears to be lumpy. Calville Blanc d'Hiver? I want it to be lumpy but delicious. Any recommendations? Mrs. G (they are beautiful).

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megamav(5a - NY)

Calville Blanc D'hiver may be one of if not the best oddly shaped apple in existence.

I have new grafts of it.
Champagne effervescence is the best way I can describe it. Otherworldly cooking apple. Better than you think.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 8:47AM
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OOOHHHH Megamav, sounds like a 'gotta' have. Thanks Mrs. G. any suggestions as to who has the best stock? I have to have it on 'semi-dwarf' root stock.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:34AM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Cummins Nursery are the real pros for us at this latitude.
They usually have Calville Blanc d'Hiver available, but it looks like their sold out this year.

G.30 and G.202 are their usual semi-dwarf selections along with M.26.

My girlfriend likes to bake, and once she got her hands on some of these, it was demanded that it be one of the varieties I grafted to our crab apple. The pie is out of this world Mrs. G, we also use it for Tarte Tatin.

Good luck, its worth seeking, just watch it like a hawk for fireblight, all the Frenchies are susceptible.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 6:24PM
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Mega, not only do I write gardening books I write cookbooks! I cannot wait to order this tree. I just might order two just in case. Having just returned from the S. of France Tarte Tatin is a very near memory. How long did it take for you to get apples? Is it precocious? Thanks Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 7:34PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

I bought the apples from Samascott Orchards here in Kinderhook. They only have a few very old trees, so im sure they're not long for this earth. They usually only get about 100 between the trees. I also got another batch from Scott Farm in Vermont.

Both were consistent, so I went out and got some scion wood from Geneva and Maple Valley Orchards. Both are on the tree.

From what I've read:
The variety isnt all that vigorous.
Average vigor.
Pick late October with red flush.
Doesnt keep real well, but we used our last ones out of storage around January.
Cooked slices keep their shape.
Flavor is distinguishable in just about everything I've tasted where its been used, including our Triple Heirloom Tarte Tatin with Orleans Reinette and Reine des Reinettes.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 8:31PM
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I am so sold! I need a three year old tree. I sent an email to a nursery in England. Waiting to hear back. I will wait until spring, but not for scion wood. I really want a tree. It just sounds so good. Many thanks Mega! Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

England, UK? They can't ship to the US - ?

My local nursery was selling potted Calville trees when I was there a few weeks ago. They just got it from some wholesaler. Maybe if you got on the phone you can find a place near you with a potted tree.

I have had bad luck with this variety, I am on my third attempt now. First one got fireblight and the next two grafting attempts the deer did their thing on. I am finally getting something looking like a tree of it now.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:54PM
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megamav(5a - NY)


Call Cummins nursery, inquire about their spring selection for next year.
They should be able to tell you if the Calville Blanc is available.
They sell grafted trees, ask for Alan.

They ship from central NY, so transit is 2-3 days.
Smooth operation.

607-592 2801

BTW, there are many different "Calvilles", 20 or more but only one "Calville Blanc d'Hiver". Be sure to be specific.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:55PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Mega, its pretty much just Calville Blanc d'Hiver being sold here in the US. Note also that many places just call it Calville Blanc, the d'Hiver is left off but its the same apple. Trees of Antiquity used to sell Calville Rouge; I'm not sure they are doing so anymore.

Oh, on the original topic my favorite French apples are Bonne Hotture, a russet, and Reine des Reinettes, the other classic tarte tatin apple.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 11:10PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Right on Scott, Im only going off of reference materials.
I agree that I've only seen Calville Blanc d'Hiver in the USA for sale.
Geneva has Calville du Mont d'Or for propagation... still gotta be careful, but its probably a safe assumption.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 12:55AM
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I'll try my best to find a tree! Fireblight eh? Mega do you have the same experience as Scott with fireblight? Thanks, Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:56AM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Too early to tell, I grafted in April and the shoots are about 4" long right now.

Im not in a fireblight heavy area here in 5a - NY, but im not immune. I suspect I wont have a problem as long as I keep an eye on it.

Advice: Get a fireblight resistant rootstock from Cummins Nursery. It may not save the scion if you have a major infection you neglected to take care of, but it will help save the rootstock, and can be regrafted.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 10:10AM
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I know Schabach's in New York offered Calville Blanc on
Bud 9 this year. Not sure if David has it for 2014
but you can call him. Of course this would be a bare-root
tree but Bud-9 is a fairly precoccious. His phone number is 585-798-6198.

A local chef in my area wrote an article in the newspaper a few years ago about always picking Calville Blanc at
a local orchard. He had pictures of the apples and mentioned how wnderful they are for cooking.

I recall the shape of the apple was very distinct in his photo. These posts make me really want to try this
variety cooked! Sounds really special.

So far my favorite cooking apples that have a distinct flavor are NW Greening and Regent for pie. Of course
many apple varieties are great cooked, but these two have a very distinct flavor that I enjoy. Calville Blanc
will now be added to my list to try.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 11:08AM
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Thanks, Spartan, Mega and Scott! I'll call them all and find out if the apple is on their list for 2014. I would also like to try 'Reine des Reinettes'. Love the name! Is it a yellow apple? Will look it up! This is great information, thank you all so much! I am so impressed you all know the nursery owners by their first names! Every time I buy a new tree, I think. . . its only me and my husband. (tons of pals though!) plenty of apples to share. I already have five apple trees. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 5:51PM
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I would put in another vote for RdR. Smallish apple, wonderful complex flavor and nice dense texture. It has become one of our favorites and most folks we introduce to it are excited as well....

They don't seem to hold well for me, but they make a great dried apple as well when they start to get rubbery at the surface.

We ahve only done a bit of cooking with them...they tasted great but even dense as they are fresh, softend in baking more than I like.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 6:00PM
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alan haigh

Brambley's Seedling is quite the cooker as well. The French have generally lost interest in their own heirlooms but the British still love their old apples and Brambley's is their favorite cooker. Hard and tart, I like it out of hand as well.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 6:56PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Reine des Reinettes is VERY good, right on that level.
Dual purpose, highest rated apple on my blog.

Reine des Reinettes also goes by "King of The Pippins" in case you're looking for references.

Read my blog post on the apple to get the whole experience.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fruit Gardener Blog

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 8:35PM
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Thanks for blog site. Are you growing all of the apples you list? Thanks, for your info.

H-man thanks so much for the tip on the great English cooker. Since I spend quite a bit of time in France I really like having as many 'French' varieties of fruit and vegetables as possible. I cannot wait to get my great 'French Pruned' trees photos transfered to my computer. Quite interesting. Thanks again, Mrs. G

Mrs. G

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 9:41PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Mrs. G,

This is what im growing:

Jonamac on G.30
Kidd's Orange Red on G.11
Orleans Reinette on G.202

Grafted to seedling crabapple:

Reine des Reinettes
Belle de Boskoop
Calville Blanc d'Hiver

All varieties in that blog were from external sources, I am new to growing fruit, and this might be the first year I get a few fruits, if the flood rain hasnt washed the pollen off.

I have pawpaw trees in the backyard as well.

2 - Shenandoah
2 - Susquehanna
1 - NC-1

Whole different topic... :)

This post was edited by megamav on Fri, May 24, 13 at 21:57

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 9:54PM
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