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Calville Blanc d'Hiver apple

Calville Blanc d'Hiver

The ugly exterior of this mis-shapen apple belies a sublime interior. Calville Blanc is the perfect apple for making the classic French "tarte aux pommes" - but it is equally at home providing the filling for all kinds of English or American apple baking.

Unlike the famous English Bramley cooking apple, Calville Blanc keeps its shape when cooked.  If cut into small pieces before cooking it will dissolve into a rich sharp textured puree.

Calville Blanc is a very old apple, known from Normandy in France in the early 1600s.  Unusually for an apple with such a Gallic name, it has become quietly popular amongst discerning apple enthusiasts in the UK and North America.

Here is a link to a book by Jacques Medecin, a former mayor of the French city of Nice, which we understand includes a recipe for cooking with Calville apples - Cuisine Nicoise.

Thanks also to Beth at Loxosceles for telling us that Calville Blanc was grown by US president Thomas Jefferson in his garden at Monticello in the 1770s.  More info at Twinleaf Journal.

If you like cooking with apples then Calville Blanc d'Hiver is a truely great apple which deserves its place in your orchard or garden - and your kitchen.

Calville Blanc d'Hiver apple identification images

All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.

  • Calville Blanc
  • Calville Blanc
  • Calville Blanc
  • Calville Blanc

USDA identification images for Calville Blanc d'Hiver

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.

    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Visitor reviews

    • 03 Jun 2023 
      Superb for tarte tatin
    • 24 Apr 2022 
      I see this as the most beautifully shaped of all apples. Old French variety that is crisp and delicious.
    • 03 Sep 2020  NM, United States
      I grafted this variety onto a very old pippin several years ago and it has now produced fruit for the second year. It is a hard apple with not much taste through the end of August but as we approach the fall I will see how it ripens and stores. Calville Blanc seems to be reasonably late blooming and frost tolerant as our last frost is the end of May. It is one of few varieties that has survived the last two seasons while the rest did not bear fruit because of the late spring frost. I grow it at an elevation of 7,800 feet in the Rocky Mountains of Northern New Mexico. Temps can get down to about -30*F for a couple of weeks each January so if grown on a hardy rootstock, it is a survivor. Looking forward to baking this ugly gem.
    • 14 Sep 2016  CA, United States
      We have a 25 year-old tree (among our 120) that has not produced for 3 years. But this year, it is loaded. We're expecting to pick toward the end of September. A local bakery and "farm-to-table" restaurant will be the beneficiaries!!
    • 01 Jun 2016  OHIO, United States
      I have 3 Calville Blanc d"Hiver trees near Cincinnati, Ohio. Versatile heirloom that goes back at least to 16th century France. I have 8 trees in total. I have a relaxing, rewarding, backyard orchard where inhabe fallen quite in love.with growing apples.
    • 08 May 2016  LOUISIANA, United States
      4 yr old tree, 1st year with Apple bearing.
    • 13 Oct 2015  PA, United States
      I've already learned a lot from this site very interested in the vitamin C content of the Calville blanc D'hiver.
    • 05 Oct 2015  MANCHE, France
      We have one in our garden in Normandy, France. It crops extremely heavily every other year - not the prettiest looking apple but cooks well and has a good flavour.
    • 16 Oct 2014  OHIO, United States
      Our tree is growing and producing well in Toledo, Ohio. The apples are amazing! Multiple use makes it all the better.
    • 26 Jan 2013  WASHINGTON, United States
      I didn't have high hopes for this apple as far as taste goes, but after trying one, I was very pleasantly surprised. I already had one planted in my orchard, but after trying it, am glad I have one to enjoy in the future.
    • 20 Apr 2012  NSW, Australia
      This apple is THE apple for the French Tarte tatin. It holds it's shape and is amazing as a cooker.
    • 15 Nov 2009  ONTARIO, Canada
      Siloam Orchards in Ontario carries this apple (as well as many other historical apple varieties).
    • 25 Oct 2009  NY, NY, United States
      Calville blanc is currently available from Samascott Orchards in greenmarkets in NYC (Union Square on Fridays) . It truly makes a fabulous tarte tatin- keeps it's shape even as it absorbs the caramel and gets translucent, has a distinct sweet, tart flavour.
    • 05 Oct 2009  WASHINGTON, United States
      There is a grower in my area that sells scionwood "sticks" of most of their apple trees, including this variety. In fact, they have 150 varieties of apples. If you want to grow your own, you can buy a stick for just a couple of dollars and graft it to a tree yourself. I have not had this apple yet, but it was recommended to me and I am planning on heading up to the orchard to pick some in about a week. I am glad to find all of these wonderful comments about it! Here is the grower in my area in case anyone is interested.
    • 13 Nov 2008  CA, SONOMA, United States
      I have a Calville Blanc which I bought from Trees of Antiquity. I just picked the last three apples off the tree on November 12th. Some brown spots from insect damage, I believe, but I find it a delicious eating apple. They kept all right in my refrigerator for over a month.
    • 03 Oct 2008  BONNERS FERRY, IDAHO, United States
      Ellisons Orange is thought to be a cross of Calville Blanc and Cox Orange Pippen. Like Calville Blanc, Ellisons Orange does not turn brown when cut and keeps its shape when cooked.
    • 01 Sep 2008  BERKELEY, ALAMEDA CTY, CALIFORNIA, United States
      The apple tree is very vigorous and requires heavy pruning after going dormant - if it does, here! It produces far too many apples for the tree so has a very heavy fruit drop. The fruit must be ripe to use, here usually late October early November. It does not keep particularly well. It is very high in Vitamin C so does not discolor readily. Perfect for Tarte Tatin, but also with meats such as pork and duck. Very useful in the kitchen, best when cooked. It is subject to apple coddling moth, however.
    • 13 Apr 2008  VERMONT, United States
      These superb apples are available from growers in my area. We love them for baked apples, pies, dumplings etc. The flavor and texture are incomparable. I am looking for a tree since I know they grow here well.

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom







    New Zealand

    Spring blossom records for this variety

    2020 season

    • 26th April  2020  - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States

    2019 season

    • 29th April  2019  - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States

    2017 season

    • March  2017  - tree owned by Phil in Laguna Niguel, United States

    2016 season

    • 15th May  2016  - tree owned by Brian in Green Bay, United States

    2015 season

    • 10th May  2015  - tree owned by Brian in Green Bay, United States
    • 30th April  2015  - tree owned by Michael in Glen Rock, United States

    2014 season

    • 14th May  2014  - tree owned by Mrs. in Newport, United States
    • 11th May  2014  - tree owned by Mike in Dayton, United States
    • 10th May  2014  - tree owned by Maryann in Elmhurst, United States
    • 9th May  2014  - tree owned by Mike in Glen Rock, United States
    • 1st May  2014  - tree owned by Tom in Salt Lake City, United States

    2013 season

    • 22nd April  2013  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

    2012 season

    • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States
    • 7th May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
    • 20th April  2012  - tree owned by Mike in Glen Rock, United States
    • 6th April  2012  - tree owned by Maryann in Elmhurst, United States

    2011 season

    • 25th September  2011  - tree owned by Mike in Glen Rock, United States
    • May  2011  - tree owned by v in Lucknow, Canada

    Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

    Harvest records for this variety

    2017 season

    • September  2017  - tree owned by Phil in Laguna Niguel, United States

    2016 season

    • 3rd week October  2016  - tree owned by Eric in , United States

    2015 season

    • 1st week October  2015  - tree owned by Lyn in Vengeons, France
    • October  2015  - tree owned by Roger in Madison Heights, United States

    2013 season

    • 1st week October  2013  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
    • 4th week September  2013  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

    2012 season

    • 2nd week November  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States
    • 2nd week September  2012  - tree owned by Jeff in Annapolis Royal, Canada
    • March  2012  - tree owned by Marguerite in Hobart, Australia

    2011 season

    • 4th week September  2011  - tree owned by v in Lucknow, Canada


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Unknown
    • Originates from: France
    • Introduced: 1500s - late
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 2002-037


    • Country of origin: France
    • Period of origin: 1550 - 1599
    • Fruit colour: Green
    • Fruit colour: Green - light
    • Flower colour: Pink - light
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Popularity: Best sellers
    • Annual cycle: Deciduous


    • Picking season: Late
    • Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
    • Flavour quality: Exceptional
    • Flavour style (apples): Aromatic
    • Cooking result: Keeps shape
    • Discoloration of fruit: No discoloration (Good for drying)
    • Cropping: Good
    • Fruit persistence: Persistent
    • Food uses: Culinary
    • Food uses: Juice
    • Food uses: Hard cider
    • Food uses: Traditional cooker
    • Picking period: mid-October
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Gardening skill: Average
    • Flowering group: 4
    • Pollinating others: Average
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Vigour: Average vigour
    • Precocity: Precocious
    • Bearing regularity: Regular
    • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
    • Attractive features: Attractive flowers
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile


    • Cold hardiness (USDA): (4) -30F / -34C
    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Average
    • Cedar apple rust: Some susceptibility

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Calville Blanc d'Hiver apple trees for sale:

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Calville Blanc d'Hiver:

    United States




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