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Cortland apples are a dark cherry red apple blushes with yellow. A purple blush patch usually indicates that the apple has been sun-ripened on the tree. They have a mildly sweet taste and a texture ranging from soft to crisp. These apples are usually ready for harvest in Ontario from September into early October. This apple is excellent for cutting as the flesh is slow to go brown from air exposure. To maintain the crispness of the flesh these apples need to be stored in a cool dry place. It is best to enjoy these apples soon after harvest as the fine grain texture of this apple quickly become soft off the tree.
For eating, this apple is best enjoyed in lunches, as snacks, or on fruit plates soon after harvest. As the flesh becomes softer, these apples are excellent for baking and making sauces, making Cortland known as one of the apples favoured for baking.