The York Imperial Apple is identified by its lop-sided shape. The fruit is medium to large. The skins are deep red usually with greenish-yellow streaks and specks although there are occasional patches of yellow or green. The apple ripens in October and is harvested through December. Eaten fresh, it has a tart sweet taste, and that flavor mellows and become sweeter over five to six months after it is picked. The York Imperial is excellent for eating as well as for baking, cooking, apple sauce, cider, preserves, jams, dried apple slices, and juice. Its general usefulness has made It one of the top-ten-selling apple varieties.
The York Imperial was first propagated about 1820 by the Quaker nurseryman Jonathan Jessop on his Springwood Farm near York, Pennsylvania. Jessop is said to have carried his new trees to the Friends’ yearly meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, and from there the tree first spread into Virginia. Jessop continued to spread the new apple by carrying trees to other Friends’ meeting. Today, the York trees are a common choice for orchards and backyards throughout the continental United States. In 1850, the American landscape designer, horticulturist, and writer, Andrew Jackson Downing, called this apple the “Imperial of Keepers” due to its excellent storage ability. From there Jessop’s York apple b