Katy is one of the best early season apple varieties. It is very reliable, producing large quantities of attractive red apples, regardless of the weather or the horticultural ability of the owner.
The spring blossom is particularly attractive, and quite long-lasting, making it an excellent pollinator for many other apple varieties. Indeed, Katy rivals many crab-apples for the exuberance of its blossom.
The apples are medium-sized, usually pink/red to bright red in colour over a light green yellow background. The flesh is a pale cream colour, and has a firm and fairly crisp consistency - although not as crisp as later season apple varieties. Like most early apples, the flavour is on the sharper side, with a hint of strawberry in a good year. It is usually very juicy, and when fresh from the tree the juice goes everywhere as you bite into it.
Katy is a very versatile apple. If you get too many to eat (which is the usual situation with Katy), then it is an excellent variety for juicing. Although considered a dessert apple, it has plenty of acidity and can therefore be used for baking as well, e.g. for apple crumble. The slices will keep their shape but soften considerably.
Unusually for a mainstream eating apple, Katy can also be used for producing a single-varietal cider.
Katy is also a popular apple with children, the size makes it ideal as a healthy school snack, and whilst you might think children would only eat very sweet apples, in tasting tests they seem to like the slight sharpness in Katy.
Whilst it may not have the balanced flavour of some later varieties, Katy is in every other respect an excellent variety, and a particularly good choice if you are new to growing apples.