Experience with Red Fleshed Apples


I’d be curious to get people’s thoughts on which red fleshed apple varieties they like best, for eating, cooking, cider or whatever. I grafted up a few red apple varieties last year, and they did better than I was expecting; I’m not sure I will have room for them all. So I wanted to gather other folk’s impressions of them to help me choose which to keep.

The varieties I have at hand are: Winekist, Red Devil, Red Flesh, and Almata. Mostly early season apples as that is all I can usually ripen here.

From what I could read, Winekist seemed most promising but there doesn’t seem to be much info out there. From that list, any favorites or ones that I should skip?


The only red fleshed apple I’ve tried is Pink Pearl, which I liked a lot. @derekamills grows many of them and I believe has said his favorite is Red Devil.


There is precious little information to be found on red fleshed apples - even less for Redfield than for Winekist. I decided to try them both and so far they seem to be bulletproof as trees. A bit droopy in habit, especially Winekist. Too soon to say how they perform in the kitchen.
I look forward to trying Winekist in Tarte Tatin! It will take a few, since they are small, but it looks to be prolific, so that part is easy!


Thanks @NuttingBumpus. The “Red Flesh” variety I got was a scion from Geneva last year, that was their name for it. Didn’t know much about it but I was interested in any and all relatively early red fleshed varieties so picked it up and grafted it. It may be the same as Red Field, IDK.

I will definitely be planting Winekist and Red Devil out in the orchard. I am mulling over possibly creating a patch elsewhere for red fleshed apples, and thus having room for them all. If nothing else it will make for interesting cider/juice…


Geneva is different than Redfield.

Love the red fleshed varieties, never tasted em but man they sure look fun.


I like how Fedco Trees of Maine describes Winekist as “a real eye-popper” in their literature.


You are right about Red Devil, over the last couple of years it has become our favorite out of the almost 200 varieties of red fleshed apples we grow. But it was Pink Pearl for years before and Pink Pearl is still in the top 5 out of all are apple varieties for me.

Now out of almost 1,200 varieties of apples my favorites are Blue Pearmain, Red Devil, Pink Pearl, Kentucky Limbertwig, Moyer’s Spice, Winekist, Cornish Aromatic and almost anything that is ripe at the time .


Both of these varieties bear heavily and reliably for us every year. Geneva we eat fresh and sell as a dessert variety. Redfield I eat fresh but my wife hates it (too tart for her) so usually i wind up using it in our red fleshed cider blends.


Fedco has very colorful descriptions and I love the artwork in the catalog! Winekist is one of my favorites and my 4 year granddaughter loves it, she likes the swwet tart flavor. Always a reliable and heavy bearer.


the variety that the USDA calls “Red Flesh” is actually named that, from the same time frame as “Red Sauce”. Red Flesh the variety is not bad but definitely not great either, another red flesh one that goes into the cider with other red fleshed ones.


Winekist is difinetly the better eating variety and our trees of it are extremely vigorous and usually loaded every year. Redfield makes nice sweet cider and a really nice hard cider. I have 10 gallons of a primarily Redfield plus other red fleshed varieties hard cider from last year.


All four of the ones you listed as growing are good varieties. Now last year we had a Kazakstan variety called Alatau bear for the first time and it was really tart, my wife took one bite and spit it out and gave me a thumbs down . Now I like tartness so it was not bad to me but with the exception of Red Flesh on your list she likes all of them. Red Flesh has about a couple of days when it hits peak ripeness when the flavor is not too bad.

If I am making a pie with red fleshed apples and i want the color to show then I use really dark red fleshed ones because the pink fleshed ones like Pink Pearl or Mott Pink or Hall’s Pink do not keep the color. So Geneva and Red Devil are used along with Pink Pearl for the sweetness in pies.

A lot of the obscure red fleshed ones are not only tart but bitter so they are great for using in blends to make hard cider. So we mix Redfield, Red Flesh, Niedzweckyana, and Raven. Plus we through in sweeter ones like Pink Pearmain and Thornberry.


Could you tell what variety this could be? The flesh was mildly sweet and a bit on a dry side.


I will have my first Scarlet Surprise this summer if they do not abort. I have a tree loaded with Mott Pink as you have seen.


when did they ripen and what zone are you in?


I picked them on Sept 22. Judging from the color of the seeds, they were about ripe or closer to it.

The tree is in Worcester, MA, zone 5b/6a, I believe.


Looks like Redford and that season would be right for us here in SE Ohio but that is such an obscure variety I doubt that is what it is though. I ordered my Redford scions from the USDA in the early 1990’s but how many people are going to be growing that one?

What is the location of the tree? In an orchard? Growing on the side of a road?

I have fruit sent to me every year to help identify and sometimes it is pretty easy but sometimes it would just be a guess.


It is in the front yard of a school. The lady who works there said it was planted when the school was open around 1960.

Thank you for taking time to respond.



@derekamills do you grow scugog?