Orleans Reinette Apple Review

About –  Discovered in the lowlands of France  in the mid 1700’s. Im not going to get into what the name means, but consider ‘Reinette’ to be a class of French apples. This apple would be considered an heirloom. I’d like to thank Scott Farm Vermont for growing and selling this apple variety.

Shape – Flat, looks plump, sits sturdy.
Skin – Red flushes dominate the sun basked specimens, more yellow where it was shaded from the sun. Rough texture, spider webbed russet on the top 2/3rds.  Almost crunchy, paper like.
Flesh – Dense, but fine grained. Yellow in color, not incredibly juicy. Crumbly.
Taste – Best way to describe this one is, a full bodied, citrus tasting apple. I dont really taste the nuts, as most describe. Its full flavored, a lot going on, and makes it difficult to separate the different flavor compounds. Definitely orange or tangerine flavors.

Bottom line: Exceptional. This apple has been in storage for about 8 weeks or more now and it hasnt lost a thing, maybe a bit of juiciness, but it wasnt really juicy when it was fresh. This is definitely a cider apple by its flavor makeup for sure. Reminds me of Golden Russet so much. Not as juicy, not as sweet as Golden Russet, but the flavor is a “POW!”. I’ve had this in an heirloom apple cider, and its seems at home there. I’d consider this to be a good substitute for Golden Russet or any sweet cider variety.

Update: Last specimen was eaten on January 25th. Some of the apple was dried out on the inside on one side. The other side of it was just as delicious as when I reviewed this apple 6 weeks ago. February seems to be the storage limit. I can live with that. I’d eat a tree full of these by then.

Fresh eating rating: 9/10 – Delivers a sharpness and complexity rarely seen in the apple world. Acidic enough to deliver the citrus flavor, but not overwhelming to the point where its a rough experience. Very well rounded, and on top of all of its pluses, I dont see it oxidizing. If theres one knock, its not juicy and the tree is prone to fireblight.

Culinary rating: 8/10 – The star of our Tarte Tatin. Really delivers that sharpness and depth of flavor you need to make butter, sugar and flour shine. Our Tarte Tatin featured Reine des Reinettes, Calville Blanc d’Hiver and Orleans Reinette. When you stand out in that class, I’d consider it an award worthy performance. Slices hold their shape well.

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3 Responses to Orleans Reinette Apple Review

  1. Adam says:

    It simply would not have occurred to me to cook this great apple, so thanks for checking that out!

    By the way, I think a younger sample would probably be a bit less “crumbly.” But russets are not very juicy in any case.

  2. megamav says:

    Adam,

    I have been eating one of these per week out of the chest freezer storage since we brought them home first week in October. They are at their prime now, maybe just past, but I’ve found the ones that arent a large majority of red on the skin, more yellow and orange have the best flavor still. I think this particular variety can get over ripe on the tree and may accelerate decay. Id say stored, 8-10 weeks is prime. That would put us at around Christmas most years. Give it a shot in a tarte, saute or maybe some apple bread. The little bits hold together and pack a lot of flavor.

    Thanks for reading!

    -Eric

  3. Phoebe says:

    I’m in love with the one bite I once had of the Reine des Reinettes – maybe seven years back. Haven’t seen it since, though I’ve been searching! I’m curious to learn about the other Reinettes out there. Thanks for the review.

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