The fruit of apples do differ in greatness, forme, colour and taste; some covered with a red skin, others yellowe or green, varying indefinitely according to the soyle and climate; some very great, some little, and many of a middle sort; some are sweet or tastie, or something sower; most be of a middle taste between ...My childhood home was blessed with an apple orchard. Not so unusual in Somerset cider country, although ours weren't cider apples. Bridgewater Pippin and Tom Putt, both 'cookers', Hoary Morning, Old Pomeroy, an unidentified Russet that my mother has since decided was a Golden Knob, and a Crab Apple. The gnarled, misshapen trees were much older than the house. Apple harvest was a frenetic affair. We always had too much fruit. My mother would fill the apple store, the pantry shelves, the freezer, and still the apples came. Bags of apples and an honesty box would be left at the gate. Visiting friends were not allowed to leave unless they took a boxful home. The drip-drip-drip of pulped apples straining through a jelly bag was constant: apple and ginger, apple and mint, apple and rosehip, apple and rosemary. Every meal included apple something. Apple dumplings were my favourite, and apple meringue, and crab apple jelly on thickly buttered bread. Yum! I didn't have crab apples but I did have a huge bag of windfalls from the trees hereabouts, varieties unknown*. And now I have six pounds of windfall jelly and four pounds of apple curd. The recipes were my Grandma Eva's and I'm sure she'd be happy for me to pass them on. They are written as they came to me, with my comments in square brackets**.
John Gerarde, 1597