The Great Apple-Apricot Debate

apples and apricot jelly highlight Scripture's fruit debate

Admittedly only Biblical botanical plant geeks debate such things as whether “apples” in Scripture were actually apricots?! Perhaps it was the hint in Proverbs—

Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given.

Proverbs 25:11 NIV

—the nuance of amberish, glowy color that caused scholars to suspect the true fruit species referenced in this Word. Combined with apple trees’ need of more chilling hours than most of the Holy Land region provides, those who obsess over Biblical botanical accuracy doubt the Hebrew word tappuwach would be apple.

Yet apple is a more common fruit, relatable by its abundance and prevalence in English-speaking cultures; when was the last time you fed a toddler “apricotsauce,” or baked an apricot pie for the 4th of July? Thus if we aspire to draw Scripture’s truths and wisdom into our daily living, connecting God’s goodness found in sweet, wise, and refreshing words to a fruit associated with good things, apple might be an appropriate translation after all.

We bring an apple to our teacher in September’s start of school, hoping to begin the year in his or her good graces. Likewise, an appropriately spoken word aligns us and opens us to good things — fairness in right rulings, wisdom in accurate judgments (Proverbs 25:11 – 12). God’s Word associates this with the apple to refresh us with a heartfelt understanding that the apricot could never approach.
—from “A Word Apple-ly Spoken,” God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, page 737

Apricot, more accurate? Apple, more impactful?? Both sides have valid arguments. What a compelling discovery, then, in my recent Facebook feed, to come across an inviting pastry recipe that celebrates BOTH fruits! Apple-Apricot Jelly Rosette Pastries embrace the whole spectrum of apple-apricot flavors in one whimsical mouthful, spiced with cinnamon. The pastry shape has a botanical flourish, the apple slices forming “petals” of an apparent rose, alluding to the Rosaceae family to which both species belong.

These tasty “flowers” will bring delight to the dinner table. In a month of disparate sides, they afford an opportunity for a sweet, excited coming together.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
Psalm 133:1 NIV

Apple-Apricot Jelly Rosette Pastries

apple apricot rosettes fresh from ovenred apples
apricot jelly
pie or puff-pastry dough
grapeseed oil or butter
powdered sugar

You will find simple yet detailed assembly instructions at To Simply Inspire or Cooking with Manuela (click to link)
Following experiments conducted by Daniel Gritzer at Serious Eats, I blanched the apple slices in boiling water for two minutes rather than soaking in lemon water and microwaving (I forgot to get lemons!) as the above chefs suggest.

dainty-1-apple-apricot-rosetteStrengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.

Song of Songs 2:5 NIV


NIV God's Word for Gardeners Bible with daily essays on the plants, landscapes, and garden metaphors in the Bible


For a devotion on the symbolism of apples in Scripture, see “A Word Apple-ly Spoken,” from the Garden Work series on Pruning in God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, page 737


Garden in Delight gate logo

Coming soon to the Plant Guide, more information on growing apple and apricot trees in your garden, and bringing them garden to table.

Photo Credits:

©2016 Shelley S. Cramm


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One Response to The Great Apple-Apricot Debate

  1. Charlotte Macfee November 19, 2016 at 10:31 am #

    Have not given this controversy much thought but it is an interesting one. Love both fruits so to combine them in a delicious treat is a delightful idea…thanks for the reference?

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