How to preserve and enjoy apples through the winter
If asked to choose ONE food that I could not live without, it would be a very close call between an apple and cheese. That is not to say that I am planning on living on solely one food. It is just that without that one food I would be devastated, lost, mourning .
And the apple wins.
Now read on and please do tell me in the comments box which is the one food you think you could not live without!
We are in the heart of the apple harvest season and we have had a bumper harvest this year in the UK. A friend has just opened a car boot full of her in-laws surplus apples to share with her friends and my thoughts have turned to making the best use of the abundance of apples.
Here are some of ways and links to savour the wonderful Apple through the winter and finally a recipe for Apple Cheese.
WAYS TO ENJOY THE APPLE HARVEST
Crunchy, delicious, instant. Maybe the reason that apples are top of my list is from the sheer enjoyment of snatching an apple from the bowl or, better still, from a tree. The best way to enjoy them.
According to a fount of knowledge on the apple stand at the Royal Horticultural Society autumn show there are something like 10 -15,000 varieties world wide and still more types are cultivated all the time. Above are just some of them as displayed at the show.
Apples can be stored in a cool place to last through the winter see the RHS link for their quick fact for storage. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=595
Jams, chutneys, pickles, butters and cheeses. Apples are great for preserves and I especially associate apples with their Pectin Power. As a purist when it comes to matters of pectin, I look forward to combining apples with other fruits to get that perfectly set preserve. The list of possible combinations fills Let’s Preserve It.
DRIED APPLES RINGS
A popular choice for all ages and another snack to snatch from the jar. See https://www.letspreserveit.co.uk/school-holiday-activities-cooking-with-preserves-with-children/
I confess that I have not yet made my own cider but just find the digging and swigging of two thirsty gardeners a great inspiration. http://twothirstygardeners.co.uk/
Now what better addition to my preserves cupboard than a few jars of APPLE CHEESE.
WHAT ARE FRUIT BUTTERS AND FRUIT CHEESES?
They are rather old fashioned terms used for pureed fruits of different consistencies. Apples butters are creamy and thicker than an apple sauce and an apple cheese is thicker still and cuttable. Beryl suggest that they are a wonderful way of using over-ripe fruit and suggest using butters with hot puddings.
This is Beryl’s recipe to which I have added a few of my own comments in brackets.
Apples, sugar, water (optional cinnamon powder).
Quarter apples without peeling or coring; put through pan with small quantity of water, simmer till soft; put through liquidiser and sieve or 2 sieves ; (at this stage you can save some as apple sauce and store for a short time in the fridge or longer in the freezer) return to pan allowing 1kg sugar for each kilogram pulp (1lb per lb pulp), stirring till dissolved ; boil rapidly till fairly stiff (or to creamy state as apple butter).
Add the cinnamon. Pot and cover.
These are better left to mature for a few weeks and then will keep for a few months.
Unless, like me, you cannot wait. Apple cheese on toast!