Notice

Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Malus domestica ‘Norfolk Beaufin’

‘Fruit middling size, flattish, of a deep red and pale green colour; the flesh is firm and savoury; the tree hardy, upright, and a good bearer; fruit excellent for use in the kitchen, and highly esteemed for the dessert. It ripens in November, and is frequently to be obtained in England in July following.’ [FCM p.44/1845].

 

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A well known and first-rate culinary apple; it is in use from January to June. It is extensively cultivated in Norfolk, where, besides being applied to general culinary purposes, they are baked in ovens, and form the dried fruits met with among confectioners and fruiterers, called "Norfolk Biffins." The tree is vigorous in its young state, but unless grown in a rich soil, and a favorable situation, it is apt to canker, particularly if it is too moist. The name of this apple has hitherto been written Beaufin, as if of French origin; but it is more correctly Beefing, from the similarity the dried fruit presents to raw beef.’ [Hogg p.147/1851].

Figured as ‘Norfolk Beefing’, synonym ‘Beaufin de Norfolk’, in the Pomona Britannica.  A large round apple, yellow skin, red next to the sun.  [PB pl.92/1812].

 

History at Camden Park

Listed as ‘Norfolk Beaufin, apple no.59’ in a hand written list of apples in an 1850 catalogue held at Camden Park [CPA]. Most of the plants hand-written in this catalogue subsequently appeared in the 1857 catalogue. That the apples did not is probably an oversight. ‘Norfolk Beaufin’ is mentioned once in William Macarthur’s records, listed as apple no.55 with no description [Diary B, 1862, MP A2951].

 

Notes

Published Apr 16, 2010 - 04:42 PM | Last updated Jul 24, 2011 - 05:14 PM

Family Rosaceae
Category
Region of origin

Garden origin, possibly Europe but I have found no reference to its exact origins

Synonyms
  • Norfolk Beefing
  • Catshead Beefing
  • Read’s Baker
  • and others in a similar vein
Common Name

Apple, Dessert apple, Culinary apple, Keeping apple

Name in the Camden Park Record

Norfolk Beaufin

 

Confidence level

low