Overnight success.


GoldRush apples with pancetta
Photography by Sam Armocido

GoldRush (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) apples appeared at my local farm market about 5 years ago and took off, an overnight success. Sort of.

The first seedling of GoldRush was planted at the Purdue University Research Farm in Lafayette, Indiana in 1973. Seven years later it was selected as showing promise. In 1993 it was released for testing at private farms around the country.

Thirty years later GoldRush experienced overnight success. This cross with Golden Delicious – typically mealy, with an insipidly sweet flavor lacking acidity – far outshines its parent. While the skin may have the same smooth, wax-free appearance, the flesh inside is wonderfully crisp, with beautifully balanced sweetness and acidity and complex spiced notes typical of Cox’s Orange Pippin, England’s legendary apple variety that is notoriously difficult to grow elsewhere.

I’m gushing but from harvest to late winter storage I promise it will live up to my strong praise. This is definitely the apple you want to be eating now and will still be bringing home from the farm market, crisp and delicious, next March.

Pancetta Sautéed GoldRush Apples

Serves 8

Salty pancetta, sweet-tart apples and just a touch of grassy parsley lend this side a flavor that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Ingredients:

GoldRush apples pancetta and parsley
Photograph by Matt Hocking
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 pound of pancetta, diced
  • 4 GoldRush, or other sweet-tart cooking apples cut in 1/4” matchsticks
  • 2 tbs Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup parsley

Directions:

  • Warm 1 tbs olive oil in a 12” skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until browned and fat is rendered. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and reserve on paper towels.
  • Add apples to pan with pancetta fat, increase heat to medium-high and cook until beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes.
  • Cover pan and cook 3-4 minutes until apples begin to soften.
  • Remove lid and cook until apples are just fork tender.
  • Add vinegar and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Season to taste with parsley, black pepper and additional salt and vinegar if needed.

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