Monday, September 05, 2011

English Bramley apples

click photo to enlarge
On a visit to the minster town of Southwell in Nottinghamshire a while ago I passed the cottage on Church Street where the Bramley apple originated. The story of this famous fruit goes like this.

In 1809 the first tree with Bramley apples grew from pips planted in the garden by a little girl by name of Mary Ann Brailsford. In 1846 the cottage, the garden and its apple tree were bought by a local butcher, Matthew Bramley. A local nurseryman, Henry Merryweather, in 1846 sought permission to take cuttings from the tree and sell the ensuing apples. Bramley agreed with the proviso that the apples should bear his name: they became known as Bramley's Seedlings. Henry Merryweather sold his first apples in 1862. Over the next forty years the variety of apples grew rapidly in fame and popularity as cooking apples, gaining many horticultural awards and prizes. The original tree was blown down in a storm in 1900 but with some careful work was restored to growth and it continues to produce apples today.

The Bramley remains the most popular cooking apple in Britain and many gardeners choose it as their "cooker" to grow alongside a dessert apple tree. I have one in my garden. This year, due to the unusual weather patterns, the apples have been ready for picking three weeks to a month earlier than usual. Yesterday, with the weather forecasters predicting strong winds for the next few days I decided to do the third picking of the season and used a ladder to get some of the bigger, riper, fruit from the higher branches. As I was cleaning them up ready for storage I took this photograph. It's not much of a shot but when I look at it I see not only the firm green and red Bramleys but also the pies, crumbles, cakes etc that they will provide during the colder, darker winter days.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 65mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/80
ISO: 1000
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33
Image Stabilisation: On