The Pip Test – How To Tell When Apples Are Ready

Plums, peaches and apricots are so good (especially home grown and fresh off the tree), but the top of my list, my favourite of all – are the pips. Nashis, pears and apples – oh lala!

Knowing when they are ready is a thing.

  1. First up, have an expectation of harvest date. Look it up, ask around.
  2. Second, it’s about how they look. The top colour and that sneaky undercolour need to be in alignment. Look this up as well. There are super descriptive, poetic even, fruit descriptions out there. And you will of course get to know over time.
  3. Third, the apple rolls off the spur when you pick it. Coming easily free when you lift the apple up. No tugging required just a gentle letting go.
  4. Finally, the pip test.  Let me show you.

Hetlina is first out of the starting blocks at my place. Usually ready late Feb/ early March, this year everything is of course, erring on the side of late. Though they’re late, the crops this year are awesome (the rain was good for some things!)HetlinaSo though she looks all rosy red, the undercolour which you can see peeking out at the bottom of the apple, is still a little dark. When ripe the undercolour on a Hetlina goes from dark to light green.

So now I’ll cut her open for the pip test. Nope, definately not ready.

piptest hetlina

The pips are pale as, and see how the flesh is turning brown at the edges. In 10 minutes there will be brown blotches – oxidising flesh is another sign of an unripe apple.

They’ll be ready to pick when the pips are dark brown and the flesh stays snow white when cut.