Do Granny Smith Apples Turn Red? [About Red Granny Smith Apples]

Granny Smith apples kept on a table

Many apple varieties turn from green to red or yellow when they ripen. However, you may have noticed that the Granny Smith apples in the market are always a vibrant green color. So, do Granny Smith apples turn red?

Granny Smith apples never turn red as they don’t have red pigments in their skin. However, some Granny Smith apples may develop a light yellow or red tint when overripe or sunburnt. There are also Red Granny Smith apples that resemble the green Granny Smith in flavor and size but are red in color.

Let’s delve deeper into this now.

How To Identify Granny Smith Apples?

One of the distinguishing features of Granny Smith apples is their vibrant green color. They have firm and thick green skin with white speckle marks on them.

These classic green apples are tangy and sweet at the same time. This unique flavor is due to the high levels of acids in them. Meanwhile, they also contain natural sugars that add a delicate sweetness.

Many varieties of apples turn green to red as they ripen. However, Granny Smith apples are an exception. They remain green even when fully ripe. Their bright green color takes on a yellow tint when they ripen.

However, you may sometimes notice a reddish tint on the skin of ripe Granny Smith apples. This is common in apples that were exposed to full sun.

Here, the red blush is caused by sunburn. It will not spread to the rest of the skin but will only be present in select parts.

What Is The Color Of Ripe Granny Smith Apples?

Granny Smith apples are usually ready to harvest in September and October. However, if the flowering is late, you may have to wait until November for the harvest.

For many apple varieties, color is a good indicator of ripeness. However, it doesn’t apply to Granny Smith because these apples don’t turn red.

It’s not easy to ascertain whether they’re ripe because their green color is rather misleading.

Nevertheless, you can identify the ripeness of Granny Smith apples by looking for the following factors:

  • Green Granny Smith apples acquire a slight yellow tinge when ripe.
  • Ripe Granny Smith apples are easy to pluck. You can easily twist the stalk and pull them off without any pressure. If the apple doesn’t come off easily, it’s usually not ripe yet.
  • You can also check for ripeness by cutting the apple. The seeds will be dark brown, and the core will be thick and fleshy when the apples are ripe.
  • Fallen apples around the tree also indicate that they’re ripe.

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Why Don’t Granny Smith Apples Turn Red?

Green colored Granny Smith apples

The color of an apple depends on the pigments in its skin. Red apple varieties have anthocyanins or red pigments.

Apples are in their growing phase in summer. They have a green color from the chlorophyll in their skin at this time. The effect of chlorophyll is maximum in summer because it’s activated by the bright sunlight.

However, the availability of sunlight reduces as winter approaches. At this time, the action of chlorophyll is replaced by other pigments present in the fruits.

This is when anthocyanins become active and give apples their characteristic red color.

Anthocyanins and other color-imparting pigments are entirely absent in Granny Smith apples. So, they remain green throughout their life.

However, the intensity of the green may reduce, and the apples develop a mild yellow tint when they ripen.

Interestingly, Granny Smith apples go directly from green to greenish-yellow to brown. There is no in-between red color stage. It’s time to toss them when they turn brown.

You may occasionally find Granny Smith apples with a red blush. This is caused by over-exposure to sunlight. They get this blush when they’re in full sun for several days.

Do Granny Smith Apples Ripen After Picking?

It’s important to pick apples when they’re just ripe since they don’t ripen after plucking.

When kept in storage, the sourness levels of apples change. Apples have a good bite only when they have high acid levels. But it will change during storage, and crisp apples soften.

Granny Smith apples have higher acid levels than other varieties. Hence, they have a delicious crunch.

However, they lose this bite when kept in storage for too long. The apples become soft, and their sweetness becomes more pronounced.

The sweetness will also increase because stored starch in Granny Smith apples gets converted into sugar during harvest. The sugar makes the apples taste sweeter than when they were on the tree.

To ensure Granny Smith apples are at their ripest and most delicious, it’s essential to pick them at the right time.

One way to make sure that the apples are ripe enough is to pluck them after 170 to 180 days from the day of flowering.

This will give you an accurate timeframe for harvesting. They will be neither unripe nor overripe at this time.

You can also pluck a single apple off the tree and cut it open to determine ripeness. The seeds should be dark brown, and the flesh should be juicy.

Although the dominant flavor of Granny Smith apples is sourness, there will be a subtle sweetness when the fruit is just ripe.

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What Are Red Granny Smith Apples?

Green Granny Smith apples are renowned for their bright green color. They don’t change color throughout their lifespan.

However, there is a special variety of green Granny Smith apples called Red Granny Smith apples.

These apples are derived from the original green Granny Smith and are a hybrid between Granny Smith apples and Jonathan apples.

Red Granny Smith apples resemble green Granny Smith apples in shape and size. The flesh is also juicy and crisp like the green variety.

It has a thick skin that adds to the crispiness of the apple. However, there is a noticeable difference in skin color.

As the name suggests, Red Granny Smith apples are red and an exact variant of the original green variety.

Red Granny Smith apples are native to Australia. They’re also known by other names like Murray Gem, Batt’s Seedling, and Red Gem in different places.

The Red Granny Smith is a dessert apple variety. You can eat it raw or use it in salads. The apple has a crisp tartness that enhances its appeal.

It’s also good for baking and cooking. The complex flavor works well in pies, cakes, crumbles, and other baked goods.

Red Granny Smith apples hold up well in storage. They last for several weeks when stored in a dry and dark storage space like the pantry.

You can further increase their shelf-life by storing them in the refrigerator, where they will last for a few months.

If you buy them in bulk, freeze them to preserve them for much longer. However, freezing will alter the texture and moisture levels. So they may not taste great when eaten raw.

However, frozen Red Granny Smith apples do well in pies and other apple recipes. You can also use them in apple sauce, apple chutney, and other cooked and baked goods.