King David is a medium-sized, late-season apple with a pale green skin that is overlaid with a deep dark wine-red. For best flavor, fruit should be harvested as soon as it is fully colored, but if left on the tree the apples will hang into the winter and the color will continue to deepen until it is almost black. The flesh is yellowish; its intensely tart flavor explodes with spice, citrus, and tropical notes that are deepened by caramelized sugars. The intensity can be a bit of a shock. It will store well for about two months, and will make an amazing pie, sauce, or cider.
Discovered on a fencerow on the Arkansas farm of Ben Frost in 1893, King David is thought to be a cross of Jonathan and either Arkansas Black or Winesap. It was introduced to the commercial market by Stark Bros. in 1902.