Early season Delicious-type apple, most closely resembling Mollie’s Delicious in both appearance and internal characteristics. Fruits tend to be large with the classic Delicious shape. Mellow, delicate, grainy flesh that loses its just-picked firmness in just a couple weeks. Matte or satin skin is easy to chew and doesn’t argue against the mellow flavoring of the flesh. Creme d’Licious is never fully colored. Loose pinkish-red stripes cover creamy yellow undercolor when properly ripened. This is an attractive yet demure piece of fruit. It is a fragile, low-acid delicacy.
It’s a thrill to get your hands on a big Creme d’Licious when it’s hanging on the tree. “Hanging” is the right word. Many other apples are attached to a tree, but this one hangs. It’s suspended from a long, swinging spur and sways a little in the wind. It feels dry and textured, not slick or glossy. It’s slim at the bottom but fills your hand with its broadness when you pluck it.
We’ve been growing Creme d’Licious since the early 1980′s when Eugene Klein brought us scions of Marion Hagerstrom’s unnamed selection. We originally called it Klein’s Friend, because Hagerstrom was Klein’s friend, and we had never met Hagerstrom. The two were collaborators in their breeding projects. The cuttings we used came from Hagerstrom’s 30 year old original seedling, which would date that tree from about 1950 or so.