What do you get when you cross a Red Delicious with a McIntosh? An Empire, an apple variety whose flavor is sweeter than a Mac and more tart than a Delicious, and it has juicy, firm white flesh that does not easily bruise. It is a high-quality dessert apple and good for all culinary uses. It has a striking, deep red skin brushed with gold and green. Look for Empires in late September.
Discovered: 1945 Geneva, New York
Parentage: McIntosh x Red Delicious
Empire is a relatively new variety, raised by R.D. Way in 1945, and introduced commercially in 1966 by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York.