This aromatic apple variety is of Danish origins and, most probably, is a result of a random seedling (possibly of the Calville Blanc D’Hiver apple) in the garden of Hardesvogts Tillisch in the town of Bjerre. It is named after Hardesvogts’ daughter Signe. Signe Tillisch apple was first described in 1866. From 1884 on, it has been spreading throughout Northern Europe, northwards to Sweden and southwards to the German and (now) Polish regions along the Baltic Sea. Nowadays, it is almost extinct in all these countries. The reason, as for other less known apples, lies on being less productive and suitable for commerce than the modern varieties. The variety starts bearing fruits relatively late. It then produces a large amount of fruits each following year, and the fruits tent to be of differing sizes. Recently, some nurseries have started to offer the variety to the public again.
The fruits are large, yellow-green, with red-orange blush on the side exposed to the sun. The cream-yellow flesh is sweet, juicy, of a mild flavour. Depending on the region, apples mature from mid-September to late October, and can be stored a few months, traditionally until Christmas. The plant dislikes too much high temperatures, even though they are not highly resistant to strong frosts either. They can get very old and still bear fruits.
Signe Tillisch apples are primarily dessert apples or table decoration, but also suitable for cooking and baking as well as juice and cider making. They are perfect for the traditional Danish fruit porridge (frugtgrød).