Bramley Apple Week – what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Delicious apple pies and crumbles of course!
Professional chefs and all you home bakers recognise the Bramley apple as the best possible apple to put in the traditional British food we know and love! And did you know that the Bramley apple is only grown in Britain – it is truly a great British treasure!
It’s hard to believe that the first Bramley apple tree was grown from pips planted in 1809 by Mary Ann Brailsford, in the garden at her home in Nottinghamshire, England.
Over the years the house changed hands and in 1856 while a butcher called Matthew Bramley was living in the house a gentleman called Henry Merryweather asked Mr Bramley if he could take some cuttings from the apple tree and start to sell the apples. Mr Bramley agreed to this, on the proviso that the apples were called after him. And that was the start of the Bramley apple!
But it wasn’t all as easy as apple pie – in 1900 the original Bramley apple tree became victim to a ferocious storm and blew down – but incredibly the tree managed to survive that fatal day.
Bramley apple trees were planted extensively and the fruit was a particularly useful food source during the First World War.
In 1989 the Bramley Campaign was introduced and Bramley growers work together to maximise their market opportunities.
In 2003 the Bramley apple tree was one of fifty British trees chosen by the Tree Council to mark Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee – what a great achievement for a tree from such humble beginnings! And believe it or not, but the original Bramley apple tree continues to bear fruit today, over 200 years after the handful of pips was first planted.
But now it’s your turn to get cooking and celebrate the versatility of this great British apple during Bramley Apple Week – there are so many possibilities from the classic apple pie recipe to stir fries!