Earligold, Summer Rambo, Ginger Gold, Sansa, & Zestar!®

Posted by Jeff Pauls on 13th Aug 2018

Earligold, Summer Rambo, Ginger Gold, Sansa, & Zestar!®

Look for these apples in the coming weeks. They’re delicious! And don’t miss the Zestar!® recipe at the end of the post!


“This is a new and improved Transparent-type variety that has caught on fast with Lancaster County applesauce aficionados like board president Ken's wife Ellen (About Us) - Earligold is her favorite! We think that you too will greatly enjoy the light-textured, light-colored and full flavored applesauce that are hallmarks of this cultivar which originated in Washington state a number of years back.” KFF

Coming from a chance seedling in Selah, WA, the Earligold “has quite crisp flesh for a summer apple.” This apple’s parentage comes from the number one apple producing state in the union. The city of Selah is near the western end of the Yakima Valley, one of five main apple-growing regions in Washington. The majestic, snow capped Mt. Ranier is just two hours west. Having lived in Yakima for a summer, I would highly recommend a visit to this ruggedly, beautiful area. If you happen to get out there, be sure to travel south to Zillah. The Teapot Dome Service Station, at one time the oldest operating gas station in the United States, was built in 1922 as a reminder of the Teapot Dome Scandal that rocked the presidency of Warren G. Harding.

Summer Rambo

“A grass green-colored Lancaster County favorite for applesauce and apple pie "from way back" - Summer Rambo was first grown in France in the mid-1500's! They may not be the most handsome apples of all, but the flavor of Summer Rambo apple products will surely win you – and everyone around the table – over quickly!” KFF

What follows is an excerpt from John R. Henderson’s brief history of his ancestors’ orchard.

“Remembered fondly because it was one of the first apples to ripen in the summer, but it was strictly for home use. Highly flavored. Like other early apples, my grandmother used them for applesauce. Some apples must have kept long enough to overlap with the first of the pie apples, because my dad remembered that although his mother wouldn't make a pie of all Rambos, she liked to add some to give a pie extra flavor. Although Dad called the apple the Rambo, I think because of its season it was a Summer Rambo, not another variety usually just called Rambo, but occasionally Winter Rambo. Both are very old apple varieties. The Summer Rambo, or Rambour d'Ete, is said to have originated in the village of Rambures in the Somme department in the region of Picardy, not far from the English Channel.” Sage Hen Farm, Lodi, NY

Ginger Gold

“Easily our top-selling applesauce variety, Ginger Gold's crunch and flavor are sure to please when eaten "out-of-hand" too. This apple is almost as sweet and tasty as Golden Delicious, but ripens six weeks earlier! It maintains its white flesh well when sliced. Ginger Gold was discovered by a fruit grower in Virginia after a tragic storm in 1969 and named after his wife.” KFF

Hurricane Camille is ranked as the second most intense tropical cyclone to make landfall in the contiguous United States. Arriving in Waveland, MS as a category 5 hurricane on August 18, 1969. By the time it reached Nelson County, VA it had been downgraded to a tropical depression, but contained loads of water and was pulling in more. Devastation ensued. Of the 107 people killed in VA, most of whom lived in Nelson County. 250 houses were destroyed. It was “the worst natural disaster ever to strike Virginia.” Brian Mcneill, of the Charlottesville Daily Progress writes:

“It obliterated Clyde Harvey's apple orchards in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Harvey, a third-generation apple-grower, collected all the young apple trees that survived the storm and replanted them on his 1,300-acre farm.

One afternoon, six years after the hurricane, Harvey discovered an unusual-looking tree in a cluster of Winesaps that was producing fruit two months earlier than the typical apple harvest. The tree's fruit was a medium-size golden yellow apple with a sweet, slightly tart flavor.

That day, Harvey filled his hat with several of the apples and took them home to show his wife, Ginger.

"It was truly a gift from God," said Ginger Harvey, Clyde's widow and the apple's namesake. "When I bit into it, it was wonderful. Just wonderful. We realized there was no other apple like it in the world." (Thursday, January 25, 2007)


“An ‘offspring’ of Gala and also related to Jonathan (now you know why everyone loves Sansa!) that originated in Japan, Sansa is well positioned for success with its tremendous flavor, juice, and crunch. You needn’t just take our word but can read this article to see what a “foodie” blogger says about this variety. Harvest time of this variety is always welcomed as the official start of ‘Apple Season.’” KFF

Here’s what Jessica, of foodmayhem.com, had to say about them back in 2008, “They are crisp, nicely balanced between tart and sweet, and amazingly fragrant. I can just imagine…Sansa perfume, hehe.”


“‘Finally, an early season apple with a crisp, juicy texture and an exciting, zesty flavor with a hint of brown sugar! Its outstanding texture, flavor, and storage life are sure to make Zestar an early-season winner.’ So say the folks at the University of Minnesota, who developed this NEW variety. If you doubt their word, you need only stop in at our market in September or October to give this selection a try! Helpful Hint: The U of M people know a few things about outstanding fresh-eating apples – they introduced the world to Honeycrisp a few years ago, you know!” KFF

Here’s a Zestar!® recipe from our friends over at The New England Apple Association:

Deep-Dish Apple Bars

The original recipe includes the Rambour Franc apple, but can be replaced with another tart apple of your choice, for example the above Summer Rambo.

  • 1½ c flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c butter (or substitute half applesauce)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ c milk
  • 10 apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • ? c honey
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1½ t cinnamon
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • 1 egg white
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse, pea-sized crumbs. Beat egg yolk in measuring cup and stir in milk. Pour liquid into flour mixture and blend with wooden spoon, then floured hands until it forms a dough. Divide in half.

On floured surface, roll half the dough into a rectangle and fit into a 9×13 baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine apples, honey, sugar, and spices. Pour apple mixture into baking dish.

Roll out remaining dough and place over apples. Seal edges and cut several slits on top. Beat egg white until frothy and brush on crust.

Bake for one hour, or until apples are soft and crust is golden brown