Why you should be excited
Egremont Russet may be the best of all russet apples. If you don’t know what russet is, it’s time to learn.
The story of Egremont Russet
If you’re new to heritage apples, especially old English russet varieties, then this is about the best place to start: Egremont Russet is widely considered to be the very best of all russets.
Russet is that scratchy, sandpaper-like coating on the outside of the skin of these varieties. It's not a defect, but rather just the way nature makes them.
Quite different from modern apple favourites that tend to be crisp and earthquake-crunchy, gushing with vast amounts of juice and either super tart (like Granny Smith) or super sweet (like Gala or Golden Delicious), this is an apple that’s fairly dry, with a rich, complex, nutty flavour.
Balanced, yes. Subtle, yes. Even better after time in storage, yes.
Perhaps Egremont Russet and its brethren are an acquired taste, but it’s one most certainly worth acquiring.
Egremont Russet Facts
Discovered in Sussex, England; introduced in 1872.
Flavour, aroma, texture
A firm, dryish apple with cream-coloured flesh and classic old-time sweet and nutty flavour. The sugar is nicely balanced with acidity.
This medium-sized apple has yellow-gold coloured skin that's almost completely covered with russet.
When they’re available
Late season (usually in October).
Quality for fresh eating
Quality for cooking
Quality for cider
While not traditionally used in cider, Egremont Russet has an increasingly strong reputation as a cider apple, despite its relatively dry flesh.
Good (3 or 4 months when kept refrigerated).