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The Golden Russet Apple

The Golden Russet is an antique apple with a reputation for its intensely sweet apple flavor, perfect for making juice and cider. It’s also known for its golden skin with a slightly rusty coat, which can sometimes appear bronze. It also stores very well.

If you’d like to learn more about the Golden Russet, read on, and we will tell you all about the Golden Russet apple, from how it tastes, how to eat them, to how to grow your own.

Three Golden Russet apples in a bowl.
A bowl of Golden Russet apples.

Characteristics of The Golden Russet Tree

The Golden Russet is a productive, vigorous, and very reliable annual fruit tree, a rare quality among heirlooms. It’s a medium-sized apple that’s highly praised by apple connoisseurs and ranks right up there with Orange Pippin when it comes to taste quality.

The Golden Russet Apple

This apple also has an interesting appearance, best described as a russet bronze that overlays a gold-greenish undertone. The apple’s flesh is dense and creamy and yields an aromatic juice that’s rich in acid and sugar but has low tannin.

A Golden Russet apple on a tree.

Golden Russet is also beloved among cider makers because it produces outstanding juice and is a top choice for single-variety ciders. Plus, the fruit itself stores very well while remaining flavorful and crunchy throughout the winter season.

Eating Golden Russet Apples

Golden Russet Apples are an incredibly sugary, sweet apple that might be a bit too intense for some pallets. As you may know, apples can range from tart to sweet, depending on the variety. However, it’s hard for those looking for a sweeter apple experience to find a sweeter apple than Golden Russets!

What do Golden Russet apples taste like?

Tasters often describe Golden Russets as having a “nutty” and intensely sugar flavor. These are very crisp, meaty apples that don’t have a grainy texture.

A Golden Russet apple cut in half.

Snackability of Golden Russet apples

Biting into a Golden Russet is like biting into one of the sweetest apples you’ll ever taste. The texture is crisp, and it’s bursting with juicy, sugary flavor. It’s a great snacking apple you can enjoy with spices such as cinnamon or just by itself.


Children absolutely love these apples. Golden Russets are as close to candy as an apple can get, and kids just gobble them up when cut into bite-sized pieces.

How To Use Golden Russet Apples

Golden Russets are great in salads and cooking recipes such as pies, tarts, and meals. They’re also fantastic with cheeses and wine. These apples really introduce a bold sweetness that stands out in any dish.

Five Golden Russet apples on a table.

How to use Golden Russet apples in Cooking?

You can use Golden Russets in a wide variety of dishes, from entrees to desserts. You can even grill them up and serve them in slices or on a sandwich. The sky is the limit when it comes to all the delicious applications of this prize-winning apple. And for apple pie lovers, this apple is an absolute dream to bake!

Juicing and Smoothies

Golden Russet apples are just the ticket if you’re a big smoothie and juicing fan. These apples are sweet enough that you would need very little if any sweetener in your smoothie recipes and most certainly none for juicing.

Glass of apple juice and pale yellow apples.


Since Golden Russets keep very well, they are great for drying, canning, and freezing. We should note that the texture of the apple will change with any of these three methods. However, they retain most of their sweetness even when frozen. You can learn more about drying, canning, and freezing apples in this guide. And if you’re looking to preserve the fruit itself, this helpful guide from the University of Illinois can show you how it’s done.

The Health Benefits of Apples

While Golden Russets are super-sweet apples, they are not lacking in the nutrition department, quite the contrary. These apples offer lots of potassium, Vitamins C, E, B1, B6 & K, copper, and fiber.

Apples are also rich in polyphenols, a group of powerful antioxidants that can protect your cells from damaging free radicals, which contribute to harmful conditions such as cancer and heart disease.

However, to gain the antioxidant benefits from Golden Russet apples, you want to eat them raw with the skin on.

Growing Golden Russet Apples At Home

Golden Russets is a late-season apple that grows best in USDA hardiness zones 4-8. They are a low chill variety developed in New York and can withstand cold temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gold-colored apples on a tree.

It’s resistant to cedar-apple rust and scab, but it is susceptible to fireblight.

We definitely recommend planting a tree versus growing Golden Russet from seed, as apple trees can take years to produce fruit. They often begin producing fruit within 2-5 years.

The location is the main thing to remember if you wish to plant a Golden Russet Appletree. Trees are extremely heavy feeders and require a lot of resources from your soil. So if you have a garden near your tree, guess which one’s going to take the lion’s share of your soil’s resources? So plant with that in mind.

You can also learn more about how to grow apple trees by checking out our guides, How to Plant Apple Trees and Complete Apple Tree Care.

When to Harvest to the Golden Russet

October is generally the month most Golden Russet fruits are ready for harvest.

Closeup of Golden Russet apples.

Will it come back next year?

You bet! This tree is also known for being a great producer year after year once it gets going. So, with proper care, you can count on a fairly high yield per tree.

Where To Buy The Golden Russet

You can usually buy young trees for a year and order online or (depending on your zone) at your local nursery.

As for the fruits, you should check at your local farmer’s markets, or you can often have the fruits shipped directly from out-of-state farmers. These apples are not always available in most grocery stores. However, you may have luck finding them in specialty grocery stores like Sprouts or Whole Foods.

Golden Russet Apple: Conclusion

Apple turnovers.

The Golden Russet apple is a supremely sweet fruit that delivers some of the best flavor you’ll find in any apple variety. Their trees also thrive in cold weather zones, producing fruit during the late season. Plus, these are some beautiful fruits to admire as they grow outside your window.

Do you grow Golden Russet apples? Or do you have a special place where you buy them in season each year? Let us know in the comments section below!

Excited for more apple content? Visit our apple trees page to learn more about apple planting, growing, picking, cooking, and more!