Granny’s formula for decicious pie
GRANNY SMITH APPLES ... POSSESS THE ACIDIC TART SOURNESS OF THE WILD CRAB APPLES FROM WHICH THEY EMERGED, BUT ALSO THE SWEETNESS OF THE EUROPEAN DOMESTIC APPLE STOCKS.
THIS year is a banner year for agriculture in Australia, as it is the sesquicentenary of an iconic Australian food, the granny smith apple.
One hundred and fifty years ago, the Sydney suburb of Eastwood sat towards the edge of the young city, perched between an emerging colonial centre and the more distant towns of Richmond and Windsor.
In those days, the undulating hills and plentiful creeks of Sydney’s lower hills district were home to tracts of market garden and orchards that were essential for keeping both settlers and convicts fed. Coincidentally, this was the same year that the final penal transportations reached our shores, and the idea of a modern
Australia was born.
Maria Smith and her husband
Thomas were established orchardists, growing apples, pears, quinces and stone fruit.
Yet it was the feral seedling that emerged next to a stream at the bottom end of their property that would come to be their mark in history.
Granny smith apples have a unique blend of qualities. They possess the acidic tart sourness of the wild crab apples from which they emerged, but also the sweetness of the European domestic apple stocks.
Coupled with bold crispness, excellent ability to be cooked and high concentrations of natural antioxidants that give them long shelf life, they have come to be one of the world’s most popular fruits.
In order to get the best out of a granny smith, eat it with the skin on. As with many fruits and vegetables, the greatest concentration of nutrition is found in the outer layers.
And keep Saturday, October 20 free, as the eponymous Granny Smith Festival is on in Eastwood.
It’s one of the nation’s biggest street parties, and this milestone year there is really something to celebrate.