And aren’t they pretty all polished up in one of my old dough bowls…

There are apple trees in our meadow… fourteen large trees spaced out in a long uneven row that runs almost the entire length of the meadow. There were apple trees here when we bought this land, and I can remember picking apples from these trees when I was a child… and especially my favorites, the apples that tasted like pears. During our years of living here, the apples have always been tiny and so bitter or tart that even our pig and goats wouldn’t eat them. Our goats were, however, especially fond of the tender branches that we cut from these trees for them every day every year during spring and early summer.

These apples are slightly tart and with a wonderful apple flavor

I can only guess that as we were cutting all those branches year after year, we were also giving the trees an unintentional but much needed pruning… because suddenly several of these old trees have become impressively productive. This year, especially, most of the apples were very large and there were so many of them. We picked apples and picked more apples. We ate apples right off the tree, I froze them, I dehydrated them and made applesauce and countless apple crisps. And yes… some of the apples tasted like pears!

The apples that taste like pears actually have an upside-down pear or heart shape

So are these trees the wild apple trees we thought they were, or could they be descendants from heirloom apple trees that were planted here many years ago? I have written before about how we live on land that was once part of the hundreds of acres that made up my father’s family homestead… land that was sold out of the family nearly a hundred years ago. Family history includes stories of how apple trees were brought to the original homestead from Massachusetts and later from Canada. It is entirely possible that heirloom apple trees were planted along the edge of our meadow all those years ago, and that our trees are several generations removed.

Anyone familiar with the upside-down pear-shaped apples? Their yellow deepens after picking. I’m hoping someone knows this variety and can give me a name…

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I wish I could help you….there are old apple trees all over the place where we live, and I’m always wondering what variety they are. In some states there are heirloom societies interested in preserving the old fruit varieties that will come and look at them for you. Perhaps that is an option where you live. I hope you find out more about your apple trees!

Marjorie T.

I’d also love to know the name of those upside down pear looking apples. I remember those also and eating them as a child, but I never thought to find out what variety they were and now there is no one left for me to ask. I’m 87 and still remember that wonderful pear taste. Seeing your photo brought back so many memories.


I vote for them being heirloom apple trees. I have been told that wild apples are usually small and bitter and that it is unusual for wild apples to be good eating apples. Glad you were able to make good use of your apple bounty.

Mrs. M.

Love the polished apples in the antique dough bowl. What a lovely table centerpiece that is!


The color isn’t quite right but my best guess would be a Hudson’s Golden Gem. They say they taste is pear like…
Love this blog, by the way :)

Luke H.

All commercial apple trees are clones. The randomness of your trees probably means they grew from seeds. There are guys in Washington right now planting apple seeds and hoping for good apples.
There is a rule of thumb I heard that might help you. The worse apples are for eating, the better they are for making cider. So try that with your sour apples, sometimes they make excellent cider.