The apples have smooth, thin greenish-yellow skin with a orangish-red blush on the side that gets the sun, with occasional dark red spots.
Inside, they have aromatic, finely-textured, juicy, tender yellow flesh, with a sweet taste with little tartness.
The fruit ripens August / September.
Good for fresh-eating, cooking and canning.
Retains shape when cooked.
Porter Apples were first grown around 1800 by a Reverend Samuel Porter of Sherburne, Massachusetts, USA from a seedling he found on his farm. After several years, the tree finally bore a single apple, which he tried, and which made him feel the tree was worth propagating, and he distributed scions from the tree.
The apples became popular in the American South.
Fanny Farmer recommended Porter as a cooking apple in her “Boston Cookbook.”
Literature & Lore
“The origin of the Porter apples, so called, which are highly valued, wherever they are known, is said to be as follows. A tree was found growing spontaneously on the farm of Rev. Mr. Porter, which produced no fruit for several years. At length Mr. P. discovered on it a single apple, which he tasted and found to be of very agreeable flavor. He then paid particular attention to the tree, which became very large and productive; and scions were carried from it, in all directions, and ingrafted on other stocks. The stump of the parent tree is still remaining, on the farm of Hon. Calvin Sanger.
Mr. Galim Bullard, not long since, conveyed several sprouts, with part of the parent roots, to his farm, where he set them out. All are now alive, and one of them, at least, bids fair to become a large and fruitful tree. Between 40 and 50 years ago, Rev. Mr. Brown began to procure scions of the best sorts of fruit, and ingrafted them on such stocks, as he found on his farm. In front of his late dwelling house, on the opposite side of the road, the land was overrun with scrub or shrub apple trees, made and kept so by the cattle browsing upon them. Part of these he caused to be removed, and part to be pruned and sawed off, at a suitable distance from the ground, and ingrafted with scions as mentioned above.
This is the history of a flourishing and productive orchard. Many of Mr. B’s parishioners have, in this particular, followed his laudable example, with equal success. Many trees, bearing excellent apples, have apparently sprung up spontaneously, in various parts of the town.” — Biglow, William. History of Sherburne, Massachussetts. Milford, Massachusetts: Ballou & Stacy. 1830. Page 9.