You just discovered the main use of Bramley - apple sauce. It cooks down to sauce very quickly, as do most tart apples. Something to do with the acid making the cells break down quickly. Most apples that hold their shape when baked are sweet apples.
I mostly agree with Ed and Elwood that most antiques aren't worth much. After all, most originated as local seedlings and the finders weren't aware of much else in the way of varieties. So for them, the seedlings were the best they had, or seemed great compared to the other local apples. At that, it's still fun for hobbiests to test them, since you might just be in a climate where that particular apple is at it's best and it will be a great apple for you.
Grapes, unusual fruits, writing, consulting, more, at http://www.hevanet.com/lonrom
From: Ed & Pat Fackler <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [nafex] Bramley's apple
Date: Tue, Dec 12, 2000, 2:41 AM
> H ... is it Hélène? (Now I'll have to learn the codes for the
> accents) There is the original Bramley's Seedling which is a big green
> apple, then somewhere along the way, someone found a branch on their
> Bramley's Seedling on which the apples were redder than usual. This
> second one is called Red Bramley's Seedling. It isn't really red, but
> it has flecks and streaks of red on it if it is grown in the sun.René
> Poisson of Tsolum River (no longer in business) probably had the Red
> Bramley's Seedling This has happened with Gravenstein, Jonagold, Gala,
> Spartan, and Delicious and many other apple varieties. There is
> quite a difference in flavour between the Red Gravenstein and the
> original Gravenstein, the Red Delicious and the original Delicious,
> and perhaps between the others, but I can't detect any difference
> between the Red Bramley's and the original Bramley's. I tried baking a
> Bramley's once ( in the microwave) and when I opened the door of the
> microwave I had the biggest surprise ... the whole apple had sunk to a
> height of about 1/4" .. not my idea of a baked apple!
> My response--------
> The last sentence, "not my idea of a baked apple" alludes to the
> problem indigenous to an incredible number of antique apple cvs.
> Or, various literature/descriptions are often repeated (plagerized)
> for decades without considering the factors of the original
> My guess is that Bramley, many decades ago, was among the best
> available AT THAT TIME. Compared to more modern cvs., Bramley simply
> isn't much for either culinary purpose or for fresh eating, at least
> when grown in warmer climates.
> The recent exchanges on this one reminds me of an exchange which
> occurred during the last NAFEX meeting whereupon Elwood Fisher
> (collector/nostalgia-guru) made the statement something to the effect,
> "an incredible number of antiques SHOULD be extinct".
> I was sitting in the audience, almost asleep (from the shear
> rhetoric---"we iz savin' the world by collecting old stuff") when
> Elwood made this statement. I publically thanked him for making this
> observation and was immediately chastised by all 'em other
> collector/gurus (like we wuz havin' an apple guru sit-in!) for
> Just a passing thought.
> Ed, So. Indiana, Heaven, etc.