They have waxy yellow skin flushed with red and dark red, speckled with white or russet dots, and russetted in the stem cavity.
Inside, they have coarse, crisp, tender, juicy yellowish flesh which is aromatic, with good rich flavour balanced with sweetness and tartness.
The fruit ripens September to October, depending upon location.
The tree is not a good pollinator for other trees, but is partially self-fertile.
Good for fresh-eating when the skin is well-coloured.
Good for general cooking while skin is still green, particularly for apple butter or other cooking such as baking and sauce.
A good blending apple in juice or cider.
Stores well. The skin gets more waxy in storage.
Tompkins County King Apples originated in Washington, Warren County, New Jersey, USA, possibly around 1750, possibly being raised by a man named Thomas Thacker.
In 1804, it was brought to Tompkins County, New York State by Jacob Wycoff, who named it King Apple.
The apple was renamed to “King of Tompkins County” sometime around 1855.
Literature & Lore
“To my taste Tompkins King has no superior for size, beauty or flavor. It always seems to bring back boyhood memories of the way a real apple ought to taste. In addition of being of delicious flavor for eating out of hand, it is one of the finest apples for sauce, pies and ‘Apfelkuchen’ “. — Robert A. Nitschke (1915 – 2012, lawyer and nurseryman.)