Can be used as a fresh-eating apple or as a cooking apple, though some people find its very mild flavour too bland to be eaten fresh.
In cooking, makes a good sauce apple.
Stores well. The sweet flavour survives storage.
In the early spring, on his farm near York, Pennsylvania, a man named Johnson watched children digging under fallen leaves to retrieve apples that had fallen from an apple tree the past autumn. He was impressed with how well the apples had kept with such “informal” storage methods. He gave cuttings away.
A local nurseryman called it “Johnson’s Fine Winter”. It was renamed in 1830 to York Imperial; the word “Imperial” was used because it was such a fine keeper.