4 preserving recipes to help use up an apple glut: Apple & lemon jelly, Blackberry and apple jam, Apple cider
It’s difficult to use every apple you grow, but Jane has the recipes if you want to give it a go.
Words: Jane Wrigglesworth
Apples are my all-time favourite fruit, but I find it impossible to eat every apple before they start to deteriorate. I’ve taking to pickling, bottling, baking and cooking with them so that I can enjoy their goodness all year.
HOW TO GET THE BEST APPLE HARVEST
If you have blackspot on your apples, cut it out before preserving.
Blackspot is a fungal disease brought on by wet, humid conditions in spring and summer. It affects both leaves and fruit, with initial infection showing up in spring as dark green patches.
Eventually the lesions enlarge and turn black on leaves, and brown with a grey-black halo on fruit. You may also see small, black, peppered spots on the fruit later in the season.
Spores overwinter on dead, fallen leaves and are released into the air when the weather warms up in spring. Remove all leaves and fruit from the ground to reduce the risk of reinfection.
Preventative sprays with a copper-based fungicide in spring also help. The critical period for control is from the beginning of bud growth until the apples are about 1.25cm in diameter, or until December-January.
A little preventative action ensures you’ll have delicious, spot-free apples in summer and autumn.
Apple & lemon jelly
Time: 2 hours (not including straining)
Makes: approximately 2.5 litres
20 large, juicy apples
Cut apples into small pieces, without peeling or coring.
Place in a saucepan with the rind of four lemons, pared thinly and cut into small pieces. Cover with water and simmer for 45-60 minutes, until tender.
Strain liquid through a jelly-bag, or cheesecloth, into a bowl (without squeezing). Leave to drip overnight.
Add the juice from the four lemons and mix. Measure the liquid and pour into a saucepan. For each cup of juice, add 1 cup of sugar. Heat gently and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Boil and skim the top of the juice for about 20 minutes (don’t constantly stir) or until it becomes a thick jelly.
Pour into warm, sterilised jars.
Blackberry and apple jam
Tangy, aromatic blackberries pair surprisingly well with apples, but you can use any seasonal berry. Try this jam on pikelets, toast, scones,
or as a filling for jam tarts.
Time: 60 minutes
Makes: approximately 2 cups
2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups sugar
Place blackberries, apples and lemon juice into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes, until blueberries soften.
Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Return to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until jam reaches setting point.
Pour into sterilised jars.
This recipe comes from the Herb Federation of New Zealand. It says: “Science has shown that apples (pectin) bind (chelate) excess cholesterol and bile salts. This reduces blood cholesterol, reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis and gall stones, two very common health problems.”
Time: 8 days (or longer)
Makes: depends on how many apples you use
Cut apples into pieces – don’t bother to peel or core. Put into a wooden tub and cover with boiling water.
Leave to stand for three days.
Pulp the apples using a potato masher. Strain the pulp through muslin into a sterilized bucket.
Add 1 cup of sugar to every 4.5 litres of liquid, and some raisins. Stir and bottle. Leave uncorked for 3-4 days until fermentation has ceased, then tie corks on. Alternatively, use plastic soda bottles.
This cider can be drunk after a few days, but if you wait longer, it develops a better flavour.
Stewing fruit and freezing it for later use is an excellent way to use up a large amount. You can use stewed apple in pies, on top of cereal, or in this ketchup recipe.
Time: 60 minutes
500ml stewed apple
250ml apple cider vinegar
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ cup brown sugar
½ tbsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp grated fresh ginger
Place all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 40 minutes.
Pour into sterilised jars, bottles, or resealable plastic bags.