Egremont Russet is of one the best loved of all russet apples- it’s a fine classic Victorian eating apple with a distinctive nutty taste. So good that it has the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) from the RHS.
The term ‘russet’ refers to the skin becoming slightly rough and tawny coloured when the apple is fully ripe.
The apples have a slightly flattened like appearance and the flesh is creamy coloured, firm and crisp when picked but can be slightly dry in texture reminiscent of a firm pear. This is because, for an eating apple, it is quite high in tannin levels. Despite this Egremont Russet is sweet and has a rich nutty flavour. A smoky almost tannic flavour develops after keeping for longer.
Egremont Russet is surprisingly versatile, working well in savoury salads, and a perfect partner for cheese.
Egremont Russet is partially self-fertile but does better in the presence of others and can be quite compact in habit which makes it suited to the smaller garden. It is very free spurring which makes it crop heavily. It would be a good choice grown as a bush, cordon or espalier. Unlike many other apples, Egremont Russet does well in wetter soils and is hardy enough to cope in the north of the UK. It is very disease resistant and not prone to any common apple ailment though occasionally suffering from bitter pit which can be cured with calcium feeding in spring.
Egremont Russet crops in late September and will keep well into the new year.
Egremont Russet breeding history is still unclear but it is known that it was raised on the Lord Egremont of Petworth Sussex estate in the early 1800s. Petworth estate was well known for the its fruit breeding, but it took a Somerset man, Scott of Merriott, to officially record the apple in 1872.