Owner's commentsI purchased my Arkansas Black tree from Stark Bros. Nursery in 1998.
The apples from my tree are much larger than seen in photos on the Internet. Some weigh 1 lb. Most are a little smaller, but still what I call large. Overall they seem much larger than the published descriptions suggest. One apple will fill you up for sure.
They do become deep red, they are long keepers, and they have, to my uneducated palate, the same taste and physical characteristics typically reported for this apple. I prefer their taste when they are just shy of ripe, when the flesh is still a bit white, and they have just a little more snap and crunch. One of these that I shared with a co-worker elicited this reaction: “That’s the best apple I ever ate!” When they are ripe, the flesh has changed to yellowish, and to me the taste isn’t quite as good. I prefer a tart apple, while my wife can hardly eat such apples, and will only eat sweet apples.
Our Arkansas Blacks do well in pies, but not great, and do ok in sauce, but are better mixed with other apples. Although they are not a juicy apple, we mixed in some of their juice to make a blended sweet cider, which we made for the first time this year, and the result was well received, though a bit sweet for my taste—too many Golden Delicious. Our favorite pie apple is our Starkspur Golden Delicious. On the other hand, our Arkansas Black apples make excellent caramel apples—just had one a few nights ago and only have half a dozen remaining--and are much preferred by family and friends over the traditional Granny Smiths that are normally used.