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Sunrise apples are medium to large in size and are round to conical in shape, though they may often be lopsided or slightly irregular and average 6-12 centimeters in diameter. The smooth skin has a green to yellow base and is covered in red striping and blush that envelops the majority of the skin’s surface. The cream to pale yellow flesh is firm, juicy, and medium-grained and there are many large, flat, brown seeds encased in a central fibrous core. Sunrise apples are crisp with a sweet and tart flavor with notes of pear and grape.
Sunrise apples are available in late summer through early fall.
Sunrise apples, botanically classified as Malus domestica, are a modern variety that was developed in the late 20th century at the Summerland Research Station in Canada. The name Sunrise was originally associated with an apple variety grown in England during the Victorian era, but due to the lack of information known about the classic variety, Sunrise is now being used to describe this new modern variety. The Sunrise apple has the parent varieties of a mcintosh, golden delicious, and a non-patented apple variety. It is an early season variety and is commonly used as a dessert or baking apple.
Sunrise apples are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Sunrise apples are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as baking or poaching. They can be consumed fresh, out of hand, sliced in a raw salad, or served as a topping for desserts such as ice cream. They can also be baked into pies, tarts, cobblers, cakes, or made into applesauce. Sunrise apples can be dried and consumed as chips or as a crunchy snack. Sunrise apples will keep up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
Research centers have created many of the modern-day apple varieties to meet market demand. The Summerland Research Station has been creating new varieties since 1914 and what is unusual about this center is its location. The center is located in an ecologically delicate area that is also Canada’s most water-challenged region. This creates an optimal environment for developing creative solutions of sustainable cultivation methods and developing new produce varieties that can survive under strict conditions.
Sunrise apples were bred by the Summerland Research Station Apple Breeding Program in Canada in the 1990s. Today Sunrise apples can be found at specialty markets in select regions of Canada.