Autumn is the time to plant fruit trees. This year we welcome a very special tree in the garden of Groß Toitin, namely the Red Astrakhan. This apple tree features prominently in the the book by Elsa Beskow – the famous Swedish children’s book author and painter – “Lasse in the Garden”. In the book of 1920, Lasse finds that “Mrs. Astrakhan is the most noble lady in the garden.”

The Red Astrakhan — also known as Abe Lincoln, American Rouge or Pippin — is a very early variety of the cultivated apple. The variety originated in Russia, probably in the Volga region, was introduced to England about 1816 and came to Germany from there around 1840.

Fruits ripen from early to mid-August. The flesh is yellowish white (just below the shell often red), juicy and pleasantly acidic. As a summer apple, the fruit is not very durable and overripe fruit quickly become floury.