This is one of the rarer varieties of apples we grow at Lapacek's Orchard. Once joining the orchard business I soon realized the direction our orchard was to be more direct to consumers versus wholesale. We needed to find a way to make our orchard stand out from others and I thought that would be by having a huge variety of apples. I listened to the customers as they came in and if three or more folks asked for a particular variety, Jared saw if he could find them and if they would grown in the Wisconsin climate. The Arkansas Black was a customer requests.
As the name indicates, these apples originated in Arkansas and are intended to be grown in a warmer climate. We thought we'd try anyway and we definitely have some happy customers because it's work. Like the Cripps Pink we have very few of these trees so when you see that they're in the shop don't wait to stop out and get some.
Approximate Ripening Date: October 15th
Flavor: When freshly picked this apple is hard and tart! Down south, this is a pie baking favorite and it also juices well into a cider. The Arkansas Black is an apple that is great for storage. Many think the flavor gets better with time and won't even delve into their Arkansas Black stash until Christmas day. By then it has gotten sweet, juicy, crisp and tender as a typical dessert apples but with its own unique set of flavors.
Baking: This firm-tart apple will hold it's shape when used within a month of when it was picked. Great for frying or pie making. Once December arrives - best to start savoring as a delicious dessert apple.
History: The Arkansas Black was a chance discovery in Bentonville, Arkansas in 1870. It is believed to be a Winesap seedling.
Other: The skin of the Arkansas Black is a stunning deep red that turns purple-black the longer it is stored.
Apple Fritter Rings
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
5 large, tart apples (from Lapacek'sOrchard whenever possible)
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Beat egg, milk, and oil. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir into egg mixture until smooth (batter will be thick). Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/2-inch thick rings. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375^. Dip apple rings into batter. Fry, a few at a time, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Roll in sugar and cinnamon. Serve warm.
Yield: about 2 dozen