It is such a romantic name for a super eating apple. Orleans Reinette apples are flat, looking like those wonderful doughnut peaches, and red with a little russeting. Ripening late in the season, they look as delicious as they taste: aromatic, sweet but with enough tartness to stop the taste cloying. Some compare it with a Blenheim Orange but we think its flavour is superior. The yellowish flesh is crisp but only slightly juicy with a fine texture. The blossom is pretty and tends to last longer than on most apple trees. Although the tree itself is reasonably robust, Orleans Reinette is not a prolific cropper so at least you are not having to compost barrow loads of apples that you cannot manage to eat.
Known for their flavour when fresh the Orleans Reinette also makes a great baking apple because it does not collapse when cooked and it retains its very special taste. On top of that, it can also be used to make cider. (See our Cider Pages). The fact that it is also as pretty as a picture makes this a hugely flexible apple tree. Unusually for a late apple, it does not store particularly well but will keep for up to three weeks. As a triploid tree it does need a pollinating partner to ensure that it crops as well as it can. Any group E or D apple will do but a good combination might be to have an eater like Ellisons Orange which crops in September and a cooker like Bramley which cooks to a fluffy puree. Spend a little time looking at our apple tree list to see how much variety there is in the apple world and if nothing else, just to read all those amazing names. Finally, make use of that extended flowering period! Plant Orleans Reinette somewhere visible from the house so you can marvel at all that blossom.
Nothing could be more true for this particular apple which started out in France and was first recorded in 1776. One hundred and fifty years later it re-appears as Winter Ribston to be awarded its RHS AGM in 1917 and then returned to Orleans Reinette in 1921. It has squillions of aliases from Zimnii Shafran to Madam Calpin via Doerell's Rosmarin-Reinette and Crackling Pippin. Such a string of identities is testimony to its popularity in many countries and cultures.