Red Astrachan is a medium-sized red apple with yellow highlights on a thin skin. It is moderately juicy, with a mild, tart flavor that is better for cooking than fresh eating. It is a good early season choice for pies and applesauce. It does not store well, and its crisp flesh can become mealy soon after it is ripe. Its skin may break if left on the tree for too long. It is one of New England’s earliest varieties, ripening by the end of July. Red Astrachan is a very old apple from Russia, of unknown origin. It migrated westward to Sweden in 1780, England in 1816, arriving in America in the early 1830s, one of four Russian apples (with Alexander, Duchess of Oldenburg, and Tetofsky) received by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society from the London Horticultural Society.
Red Astrachan’s popularity peaked around 1900, when it was grown worldwide. It was especially popular for a time in the American south.