Empire apples are a small to medium-sized varietal with a slightly lopsided, round to oval shape.
The American apples were developed in the late 20th century as a part of an initiative of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, to create a cultivar with improved resistance to disease, flavor, and texture. They are a cross between two well-known varieties, Red Delicious and Mcintosh apples. Empire apples were highly favored for their sweet-tart flavor and crisp, dense flesh. The apples resist bruising and can be exported without damage, and they fill a gap in the harvest season between their parent varieties. In the modern-day, Empire apples are considered the most successful variety released from the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, and the apples are an all-around cultivar utilized in fresh and cooked preparations.
Empire apples have a sweet-tart flavor well suited for fresh & cooked preparations. In addition to fresh preparations, Empire apples hold their shape well when heated and can be roasted, baked, sauteed, and pureed.