Why you should be excited

Keepsake is a modern variety more famed for its parenting of Honeycrisp than for its own attributes.

The story of Keepsake

Pity poor Keepsake, an apple that just doesn't get any respect.

Bred by the University of Minnesota and introduced in the late 1970s, it's largely ignored because the apple's small and considered homely, despite its pleasant flavour and great keeping ability. Not to mention considerable crispness and juiciness, too.

About the only time Keepsake has received any press was when genetic fingerprinting was used to determine that the decidedly unsubtle Honeycrisp is offspring of Keepsake and MN1627 (a never-named variety from the University's breeding program that no longer exists) and not Macoun and Honeygold as had previously been thought.

Interesting news, but how about we pay at least a wee bit of attention to Keepsake for its own substantial merits?

Keepsake Facts

Its origins

Bred in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA; introduced in 1978.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Hard and very crisp, with fine-grained light-yellow flesh that's juicy and has an unusual flavour some compare to sugar cane.


This homely small to medium-sized apple is irregularly-shaped and mostly red in colour.

When they’re available

Late season (usually in October).

Quality for fresh eating

Very good.

Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Quality for cider

Not particularly known for its use in cider.

Keeping ability

Excellent (about 6 months when kept refrigerated).