[Sca-cooks] apples and fruit pies

Huette von Ahrens ahrenshav at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 4 23:48:02 PDT 2009


A year or so ago, I was asked by one of the SCA's best heralds about apples, what its shape would have been in period and what it would look like.  I sent him my list and photos of what they looked like from several websites that specialize in selling heirloom apple trees.  Since I can't post the jpg's that I used, I can only send you a list of the names.  It probably isn't a complete listing of period apples, but it is something.

Probably the oldest known apple variety is the Api or Pomme d'Api or Lady Apple.  It is thought to go back to Roman times.  Although another source says "France 1628".  But I think that it is earlier than that.
The Catshead has an origin of at least England in 1629.  

The Costard apple was already in use in the 13th C.  The name of this apple is the  root for the word "costermonger" or apple seller.  

The "Court pendu plat" is an old French variety dating from before 1600 and may well have also been from Roman times. 

The Guilliflower is a 17th century apple.  

The Joaneting is an English apple known before 1600.  It is called the Jenneting by Elizabethan writers.  

The John Apple or Apple-John is a 16th C. apple.  

The Leathercoat Russet has an origin of 1600.  S

Pearmain is the oldest English apple name.  Recorded in a Norfolk document of 1204.  

The Reinette is an old French apple that has been popular since the early 17th century.

The Faro apple, which goes back to 14th century France.

The Pomewater Apple which is mentioned in Elizabethan recipes by name.

and the Codlin apple.

Here are my sources:

Bultitude, John
London : Macmillan, 1983

Morgan, Joan
  "In praise of older apples", in PPC 20, 1985.

Morgan, Joan and Richards, Alison
   The Book of Apples
London : Ebury Press, 1993

Davidson, Alan
  The Penguin Companion to Food.
New York : Penguin Books, 2002

and these websites:



I hope this helps in your search for period apples.


--- On Sun, 10/4/09, Stephanie Yokom <sayokom at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Stephanie Yokom <sayokom at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] apples and fruit pies
> To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Date: Sunday, October 4, 2009, 7:16 PM
> Thank you for the information on the
> apples and pies!
> But now I am wondering, with the mass production of various
> apples (the
> delicious family, Granny Smith, etc.)  How feasible is
> it to get the
> heirloom apples and I am sure that they have an amazing
> cost attached to
> them as well.  I live in an area that there are
> several local orchards but I
> really don't have a clue as to what type of apple they
> grow. (Florence,
> Colorado)
> Just to let you know- I did finish my apple pie today and
> it looks a little
> wierd (I rolled the dough too thin in some places) but it
> is almosted cooled
> and we are looking forward to this experiment.  This
> pie is for taste..next
> apple pie is for taste and looks!
> Sabra
> _______________________________________________
> Sca-cooks mailing list
> Sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org
> http://lists.ansteorra.org/listinfo.cgi/sca-cooks-ansteorra.org


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