Why you should be excited

Redfree is a U.S.-bred apple that was one of many super-disease-resistant varieties introduced in the late 20th century.

The story of Redfree

The name is straightforward: ‘red’ for this apple’s pretty maroon skin colour and ‘free’ for its freedom from most of the diseases that drive apple growers crazy.

Back in 1966, around the time the folks at Illinois, Purdue and Rutgers universities were ramping up their ‘PRI’ apple releases, Redfree sang the same tune as several others: quality new apple varieties that offered good flavour and other qualities while also coming with impressive disease resistance.

TRhis one offers a subtle flavour (some sense a hint of strawberry in Redfree) and a pleasant juiciness. It doesn’t keep well and the fruit on a particular tree tends to ripen over a considerable period of time, so industrial agriculture had little interest in this variety.

Redfree Facts

Its origins

Bred in New Jersey, USA; raised in 1966 and introduced in 1981.

Flavour, aroma, texture

Behind the tough skin is a pleasant juiciness and nice flavour that includes a hint of strawberry.


A pretty maroon-coloured apple.

When they’re available

Early season (usually in early September).

Quality for fresh eating


Quality for cooking

Mainly used for fresh eating.

Keeping ability

Limited (a few weeks when kept refrigerated).