Norfolk Beefing is a very good baking apple. The vigorous tree is a good cropper; it needs a pollinator. Introduced before 1807, but documented from as early as 1698.

The apples can be stored at length in a cool place. They gradually get sweeter, and can be eaten as dessert apples in March.

The name may come from the word “biffin“, which refers to a baked apple, prepared by bakers in Norwich. The apples were cooked whole in a slow oven, cored, and rubbed with sugar. They were given to children as a snack, who peeled them. At home, they were peeled and eaten with sugar and cream as a dessert. In Boots at the Holly-tree Inn (1858), Charles DIckens writes, “Cobbs, do you think you could bring a biffin, please?… I think a Norfolk biffin would rouse her, Cobbs. She is very fond of them…”

View the Apple Pollination Chart to find suitable pollinators.

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Norfolk Beefing
Norfolk Beefing, photo courtesy of Malcolm Craik/