Our Apple For December: Allington Pippin
What better apple to feature in December than local delicacy Allington Pippin, saved as a Christmas treat in bygone years because of the distinct pineapple or fruit-drop flavour it develops when stored?
Despite its comparative rarity nowadays, many Allington Pippin trees still grow in Waterfurlong. It was raised by Stamford solicitor and horticulturalist Thomas Laxton in 1884 by crossing Cox's Orange Pippin with King of the Pippins. Local nurserymen W & J Brown (whose nursery grounds were just across the road from Waterfurlong on what is now Exeter Gardens) exhibited the variety at the Royal Horticultural Society in 1889 under its original name of South Lincoln Beauty, but the breeding rights were bought by George Bunyard of the famous Allington Nursery near Maidstone in Kent, who renamed the apple Allington Pippin.
The fruit is crunchy and aromatic and has a distinctive conical shape and red and orange skin with some russeting. It is best gathered towards the end of October and can be used as a cooking apple when first picked, but it is only after a couple of months' storage that Allington Pippin develops the unique flavour beloved of connoisseurs.
Allington Pippin makes a handsome tree, although its pretty blossom is susceptible to late frosts. It tends to be a biennial cropper and benefits from the fruit being thinned in heavier years. See our webpage for more information on this lovely Stamford apple.
Photograph © Alan Buckingham via Photoshelter
Copyright © Karen Meadows 2018