The Cambusnethan Pippin is an old Scottish variety that, according to one source, originated at the Cambusnethan Monastery where it was known as ‘Cam’nethan Pippin’ while another suggested it was raised by Mr. Paton, gardener at Cambusnethan House in 1750s. Either way, the Cambusnethan Pippin is of Clyde Valley origin. This valley has a special micro-climate that made it particularly popular for growing fruits (and was also very famous for its tomatoes).
It dates from pre-1750 and like so many heritage varietals fell into disuse with the monoculture growing methods, mass production and also the post war building of housing estates swallowing up orchards across Scotland.
They are propagated by naturally growing specimens using grafting and budding. The young stocks are looked after in nurseries and not sold until one year old. Older trees can also be purchased for higher prices. There have been several community projects planting the Cambusnethan Pippin and about 100 sold for private gardens in recent years. The fruit is not available in shops, but as interest continues more are available for eating in schools and community allotments.
The apple has a fresh aroma and a slightly hazelnut taste. It is a good firm apple with a good keeping quality. It is green with red striations and a noticeably flat top. It is a very useful and deliciously crisp dessert apple. They make excellent dried apple rings to preserve them for later use in soups and desserts.
They can also be juiced for a healthy refreshing apple drink or grated in salad.