A newer debutant on the apple scene, the Lady Alice Apple variety has taken the culinary world by storm. In just a few decades, this apple’s popularity has skyrocketed it, making it a high demanded and much loved addition to many dishes and snacking cabinets. If you’re interested in tasting this one for yourself, or curious to know all about its unique origins, you’ve come to the right place!
Read on to learn more about what makes the Lady Alice apple so special—and so loved!
History of the Lady Alice Apple
Though the name may suggest an ancient, noble—perhaps even queenly—beginning, the Lady Alice Apple actually boasts much humbler “roots”. The story goes that this beloved apple variety has its origins dating back only to the late 1970s, and had its start in the United States, where a farmer in Gleed, Washington is said to have accidentally injured one of his Red Delicious apple trees while plowing; from that unexpected impact and some chance cross-pollination by a passing bee came a new shoot sprouting unusual—and delicious!—apples. The family named them Lady Alices after one Alice Zirkle, matriarch to their farming ancestry, who’d moved her family to Washington from the Shenandoah Valley in 1888…and the rest is history!
In the years since, the family has preserved and propagated this chance bloom into one of the most popular apple varieties available from their local area—an apple much loved by anyone who can get their hands on it!
Characteristics of the Lady Alice Apple
A dainty beauty, the Lady Alice Apple tends toward a small or medium size, with a round, generally squat shape. The skin is smooth and ranges from yellow to orange in its undertones, with either blush pink or soft red striping all across its surface, and a firm interior that varies from pale yellow to a deep cream complexion.
The Lady Alice has been likened to a Honeycrisp in both taste and texture, with a crisp, sturdy, juicy flesh and a flavor profile that’s mostly sweet with a hint of tartness in the aftertaste.
Lady Alice Specific
The Lady Alice is truly an all-purpose culinary apple; it’s firm enough to hold up well for baking, and sweet enough to be cidered or pureed for applesauce. This makes a fantastic component when diced and baked with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, or it can be used in your favorite apple pie or tart recipe; it also holds up well in breads and muffins for a wonderful textural component, and that sweet to tart balance makes it fantastic for apple donuts. Some consumers have even used the Lady Alice apple for such unique dishes as apple mousse, with great results.
One of the most noteworthy uses for the Lady Alice Apple is in its raw form in salads, fruit salads, and other such dishes; its flesh has a low oxidation rate, meaning it won’t brown as quickly as some other apples, so it does quite well in these sorts of raw dishes! It’s also great for any sort of fruit or charcutier plate, and pairs well with both mild flavors like spreadable cheeses and peanut butter, and more assertive flavors like balsamic dressings, salty summer or pork sausages, and much more!
The Lady Alice Apple’s sweet flavor and firm texture also make it a choice snacking apple for both kids and adults, without any overt tartness that can be an aversion for some snackers. Best of all, this is an apple that actually improves with age! Consumers have noted its flavor only gets better as it’s stored, so keeping this snack on hand for up to 3 months can ensure an even tastier snack with the most rich, complex flavor profile down the road!
One of the benefits of the Lady Alice Apple variety as well is that it has a later harvest and that great keep time, making it a fantastic apple for snacking or cooking with throughout winter and into spring!
Like most apples, the Lady Alice is high in many vitamins and minerals that are essential for overall health, including high amounts of Vitamins B and C and potassium and iron. In addition, the Lady Alice Apple is noted for its high levels of pectin—an important and special kind of fiber—and key antioxidants such as quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid. All of these are of great benefit to personal health, and there’s no sweeter way to consume them than through a delicious Lady Alice Apple!
Growing At Home
Due to its single-family farm origins, the Lady Alice Apple is currently not available as a rootstock, scionwood, or seedling. Consumers might try growing from seed found within the fruit itself, but likelihood is historically low of this producing viable trees.
Where To Buy The Lady Alice Apple
The Lady Alice Apple is currently sold only through distribution by Rainier Fruit in eastern Washington State, where it has its origins. Thankfully, for those who are eager to try this sweet, delicious little apple, there is hope—Rainier Fruit does ship across the United States!
The conventional breed of the Lady Alice Apple has been found primarily at wholesale distributors such as Costco and Sams Club; consumers have also found an organic variety of the Lady Alice available at some Whole Foods Market locations.
Lady Alice Apple Recipes
If you’re in need of some additional inspiration for crafting a delicious dish using your stock of Lady Alice Apples, we’ve got you covered! Check out these great apple recipes we’ve curated on our website—the Lady Alice Apple will make a fantastic component in any one of these!
In addition to these, Lady Alice Apples will truly go well with just about any classic apple-based recipe—even savory ones! Don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative when cooking or baking, using Lady Alice apples as an ingredient…your tastebuds will thank you for it!
The Serendipity of the Lady Alice
One of the sweetest fruits of mere happenstance, the Lady Alice Apple is a great reminder of the tremendous good that can come from an accident or injury—and that’s a lesson you can really sink your teeth into!
What dish would you like to use a Lady Alice Apple for? Let us know in the comments below! To read about other apples, click here for our apple blog posts.