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Oaken Pin (of Taylor) Apples
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Oaken Pin apples are conical or egg-shaped, with a beautiful red flush and red stripes over a yellow background. The flesh is firm and crisp and tends toward dry rather than juicy. The flavor of the Oaken Pin can change depending on the year. If the fruits receive enough sun, they develop a very strong, rich, classic apple flavor, almost aromatic. Apples that don’t receive the proper sun have less developed, more tart flavor that is much less pleasant.
Oaken Pin apples are available in the fall.
Oaken Pin apples are an antique English variety of apple (Malus domestica) from the 19th century. A very old variety of Oaken Pin from at least the 1600s identified in the literature is probably not the same as the somewhat newer Oaken Pin, though they share the same name.
One medium apple contains about 95 calories, and is made up mostly of water and carbohydrates. It also has about 4 grams of fiber, which improves digestion, lowers blood sugar levels, and maintains healthy bacteria in the digestive system. Apples also contain Vitamin C and other antioxidants, along with smaller amounts of potassium.
The Oaken Pin is mainly eaten as a dessert apple, but can also be used for baking. When Oaken Pin is juiced, it produces a pinkish yellow juice with a honey aroma. Pair with nuts such as pecans, walnuts, and almonds; with traditional apple spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; or even vegetables such as cabbage, onions, and beets. This variety does not keep very well, and should be used within one month while storing in the refrigerator.
The name of this apple may seem strange, but it is actually named for its shape. Oaken Pins are egg-shaped, and resemble old wooden pins that were used in the past to fasten doors shut. The pins are no longer used, but the apple and its unusual name stuck around.
The exact origins of the Oaken Pin are unknown, but this variety likely came from Devon (perhaps the Exe Valley), England sometime in the 1800s. By the 1920s, the trees were grown extensively in the Exmoor area of Devon. They grow well in temperate climates.