What do you get when you cross a Red Delicious with a McIntosh? An Empire, an apple variety sweeter than a Mac and more tart than a Delicious, with juicy, firm, white flesh that does not easily bruise. Empire 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, New York

Parentage: McIntosh x Red Delicious

Harvest: Midseason


Empire was developed by pomologist R.D. Way in 1945, and introduced commercially in 1966 by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York.

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