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Egremont Russet Apples
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Egremont Russets are covered in their namesake russeting, a scratchy and rough outer covering that is the trademark of all russet apple varieties. The skin is golden yellow, while the flesh is creamy white and dry. These russets are generally medium sized and flattish. The flavor is distinctive and delicate—very nutty, sometimes smoky. The flavor and aroma have been compared to the scent of crushed ferns. Generally, the flavor and texture of russets are similar to those of pears. The flavor is nicely balanced between sweet and acidic.
Egremont Russet apples are available in the mid-fall through winter.
Egremont Russet apples are considered by many to be the best russet-type apple (species Malus domestica) available. They are a classic English Victorian apple from the late 1800s, parentage unknown. Egremont Russets are easily grown as a garden tree, but can also still be found in some markets, unlike many antique apple varieties.
Apples contain high amounts of several nutrients, particularly fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, and some antioxidants. The fruit is made up primarily of carbohydrates, and have about 100 calories per medium apple. An apple has both soluble and insoluble fiber, which act to keep the digestive system healthy. Vitamin C, one type of antioxidant, is present in all apples, though Egremont Russets are lower in Vitamin C than some other varieties. The potassium in apples promotes heart health.
Russets are classic cider apples, but are great as both dessert and cooking apples. Egremont Russets also hold up well when dried. Pair with cheese or include in savory salads for a bit of complex and sweet flavor. Egremont Russets keep up to three or four months in the refrigerator. At first their flavor improves, but tend to get drier over time the longer they are in storage
The Egremont Russet is one of the rare old antique varieties that has not only survived through the decades, but thrived. Most modern apples are very sweet or acidic, and very crunchy and juicy. This russet provides something different, and fans and gardeners have kept it alive since Victorian times.
Although the Egremont Russet’s history isn’t definitively known, its name suggests that it was first grown at Lord Egremont’s estate in Petworth, Sussex, England, which turned out several apple varieties in the 1800s. It was first discovered in Sussex in 1872 and became more popular in the early 1900s. In 1960s England, consumers became more interested in russet apples, and more Egremont Russets were planted to meet the demand. Egremont Russets do best in temperate climates; its blossoms are susceptible to frost in colder climates.