This section is from the book "The Fruit Manual: Containing The Descriptions And Synonyms Of The Fruits And Fruit Trees Of Great Britain", by Robert Hogg. Also available from Amazon: The Fruit Manual.
Fruit, medium sized, roundish ovate, and slightly angular on the sides. Skin, greenish yellow, nearly covered with clear yellowish brown russet, so much so that only spots of the ground colour are visible; it has also a varnished reddish brown cheek next the sun, which is more or less visible according to the quantity of russet which covers it. Stalk, half an inch long, inserted in a narrow and deep cavity. Flesh, yellowish, tinged with green, tender, crisp, juicy, sugary, and briskly flavoured.
This excellent apple was raised by James Carel, a nurseryman at Pinner, Middlesex, in 1810. The tree first produced fruit in 1818, and was introduced to the notice of the London Horticultural Society in 1820.
The word Pippin is derived from the French Pepin, the seed of an apple, and in its earliest signification meant an apple tree raised from seed in contradistinction to one raised by grafting or from cuttings. Thus Leonard Mascal, writing in 1572, says, "Then shall you cover your seedes or pepins with fine erth so sifting al over them "; and " when the winter is past and gone, and that ye see your Pepins rise and growe"; and again, "When so euer ye doe replante or change your Pepin trees from place to place, in so remouing often the stocke the frute there of shall also change; but the frute which doth come of Grafting doth always keep the forme and nature of the tree whereof he is taken."
It is evident from this last quotation that Pippin is synonymous with seedling, and is used to distinguish a tree raised directly from seed from one that has been raised from grafts or cuttings. The Golden Pippin, which, by the way, was raised in Sussex, where Mascal also was born, means simply Golden Seedling.
But there was another meaning attached to the word. In "Henry IV.," Shallow says to Falstaff, "Nay, you shall see mine orchard; where in an arbour we will eat a last year's pippin of my own grafting." And this is interpreted by what Sir Paul Neile says in his Discourse of Cider, written in the time of the Commonwealth, wherein speaking of "pippin cider," he says, "For by that name I shall generally call all sorts of cider that is made of apples good to eat raw," and that is evidently the signification in the above quotation from Shakspeare.
Coming to more modern times, we have the word kernel, which is the English equivalent of Pepin, also used to signify a seedling apple tree; as, for example, Ashmead's Kernel, the seedling raised by Dr. Ashmead, of Gloucester; Cook's Kernel, Knott's Kernel, and many others.
Fruit, small, an inch and three-quarters wide, and an inch and a half high; roundish oblate or Reinette-shaped, even and regular. Skin, rough to the feel, being entirely covered with a coat of rough pale brown russet, and here and there the smooth yellow ground colour of the skin shining through. Eye, small and wide open, with the short remains of a deciduous calyx, set in a wide saucer-like basin. Stamens, median; tube, funnel-shaped. Stalk, short and slender, inserted in a narrow cavity. Flesh, deep yellow or saffron-coloured, crisp and tender, very juicy and sweet, and with a rich flavour. Cells, ovate; axile.
A very fine dessert apple of the first quality; in use in December and February.
This was raised by Mr. Williams, of Pitmaston, near Worcester.