The British apple and pear season is well underway, and many apple varieties are now widely available in UK supermarkets. The humble English Bramley apple is a year-round feature of shop shelves, but not many people know the origins of the cooking favourite.
The original Bramley tree grew from a pip planted by a little girl called Mary Ann Brailsford in Nottinghamshire in 1809. As time passed and the tree kept producing delicious cooking apples, eventually the house was sold to a man called Matthew Bramley. A local plant nursery worker, Henry Merryweather, realised that this could be a valuable type of apple and began to take cuttings to produce more trees. They named the apple ‘Bramley’ after the owner of the tree.
This year, the Bramley is expected to be more popular than ever. Home baking soared during the early stages of lockdown and British Apples and Pears expects the more recent restrictions and colder weather to have a similar, if not bigger, impact, driving up demand for Bramley apples and other baking goods.
Ali Capper, Executive Chair at British Apples & Pears, comments: “Bramley apple pies and crumbles may be the traditional favourites, and just as popular as ever, but this wonderful English apple is actually incredibly versatile in both sweet and savoury dishes.”