Lifting our fabulous haul of foraged apples in to the boot of the car a few weeks ago I had dreamy plans of supping on our own home made apple juice well into the winter months. My juicer however had other ideas and in spite of being fairly heavy duty it found the skins on the apples a little too tough to easily chew up and spit out. So we both gave up juicing after creating this one bottle of apple juice! I’d researched how to ensure freshly pressed apple juice stores well, the key to which is pasteurising the apple juice and proceeded to heat the apple juice before bottling. At least we were able to savour the juice rather than glugging it all in one go. I’d barely made a dent in the apple mountain though so over the last couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with various apple cordial combinations.
- a rainy day apple cordial with warming spices; cinnamon, coriander, cloves
- a blackberry and apple cordial using blackberries foraged from a playing field near my mum and dad’s house (and stored in their freezer until I was ready to retrieve them – thanks mum).
- a raspberry and apple cordial produced using just a spoonful of sugar after giving the juicer another try – this time peeling and coring the apples first. Still rather labour intensive for a relatively small quantity of juice but the addition of our allotment grown raspberries was really delicious.
- a marm’apple cordial made using the leftover apple peelings and cores from all the juicing – a cordial variation of Pam Corbin’s ‘compost heap jelly‘ recipe. I’ll be writing a separate post about jellies made with apple scraps but for now here’s what you can expect compost heap jelly to look like. I renamed it Marm’apple because of it’s pairing of apples with oranges (and apple-ade sounded too much like a drink). Sue and Martin’s apples were naturally very sweet and disintegrated quickly when boiled so I’ve often been able to reduce the amount of sugar I add when using them to make fruit cordials. The general rule of thumb when boiling and sugaring fruit to preserve as a cordial, so says Pam Corbin’s Preserves book, is:
1 kg hard fruit/blackcurrants + 600ml water to boil
1kg stone fruit + 300ml water to boil
1kg soft berries/rhubarb + 100ml water to boil.
Then add 700g sugar per 1 litre of strained fruit liquid.
ps. this wasn’t my first experiment with apple cordials. In the summer I made blackcurrant and apple cordial using Henri’s blackcurrants but I didn’t get round to mentioning that did I? Here’s the post that would have been!