Professional chefs and home cooks alike have long recognised that Bramleys are the best apple for cooking. But why is that? As with most things there is a scientific explanation….
In all foods, flavour is mostly determined by the level of sweetness and sharpness. In apples this is characterised by the balance between sugar and malic acid.
Dessert apples, or ‘eating apples’, have lower levels of acid and higher sugar content, giving them the sweet flavour that makes them delicious to eat – but also means they tend to lose their ‘appley’ flavour when cooked.
Bramley apples, however, are unique because they contain a higher acid content and lower sugar levels to produce a stronger, tangier tasting apple whose flavour is retained when cooked.
Texture is also important and Bramleys are again unique in producing a ‘melt in the mouth’ moist texture when cooked, while dessert apples can produce a chewy, dissatisfying texture because they contain up to 20% more dry matter than the Bramley.
The Good Housekeeping Institute, respected for its independent research work, has confirmed Bramley’s superiority over dessert apple varieties when cooked in popular recipes.
The Bramley was tested against Granny Smith, Braeburn and Golden Delicious apples. All the apples were treated identically using recipes taken from the Good Housekeeping recipe book (apple crumble, apple pie, baked apple and apple sauce) and were tested for flavour, texture and overall quality when cooked.
The research findings show quite categorically that Bramley performs better than all the dessert apple varieties in traditional British apple puddings and apple sauce. It performed well across the categories tested, with flavour the most consistent highest scoring factor.