Monday, April 26, 2010

Our First Harvest for The Country Store...

We are starting to reap the fruits of our labours in our Orchard, which is only 6 months old. Our Crabapple trees, (Malus 'Gorgeous' and Malus 'Wright's Scarlet') are starting to produce some colourful apples which will soon be ripe for making Crabapple Jelly.

Crab apples are unlikely to be on sale, but go foraging and you'll find them. Wild trees thrive on country roads and in abandoned homestead gardens and are occasionally found dropping fruit onto city streets. Raw, the tiny apples are hard and tart and seem more stone than flesh, but boil a potful into jam or jelly and they make a lovely treat for morning toast. Even better on a buttery, rich croissant. And should a wild duck wing its way to your larder come the month of May, glaze the cooked bird with your crab- apple jelly and wait for compliments.


Quarter-fill a large saucepan with washed and dried crab apples. Completely fill saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer briskly for 40 minutes until the liquid is reduced by about half (the crab apples will soften and burst). Put a new Chux cloth or similar in a colander over a large jug or bowl and tip in crab apples and liquid. Leave 3-4 hours to drain. Discard crab apples. Measure juice by the cupful into a large clean saucepan. Add the same number of cups 78 filled with sugar (in other words, not quite as much sugar as liquid). Over a low heat stir to dissolve the sugar. Gradually increase heat and bring to a boil. Boil briskly for 10 to 15 minutes, then test for setting by dropping a spoonful of the jam/jelly onto a cold saucer. If it wrinkles, or better, if it stays separate when you drag a finger through the puddle, it is at the jelly stage. Pour into clean, warmed jars, drop 2-3 whole peppercorns into each jar, cover and leave to cool. The peppercorns give the jelly a savoury fillip but this step is optional, especially if the jelly is to be used as a breakfast spread. - Recipe from The Press.

The Willowbrook Park recipe is slightly different, and will be available in our Cookbook, on sale this Christmas.

Apart from the Crabapples, we have some other fruits starting to develop in the orchard...




And soon some Blackberries on our thornless hertiage canes


  1. oh yes - crap apple jelly is one of my favorites. Growing up we had a lot of apples and a few quince bushes -always looked forward to that jelly. Now my mouth is watering!

  2. I'm sure I know what you mean :-) David.

  3. Wonderful site, so glad to find you! I enjoy your postings aboyt your life in Willowbrook Park!

    Art by Karena

  4. Crabapple jelly is a great favorite of mine, too. How marvelous your harvest looks. Happy jamming! Reggie

  5. This is a place of wonderment.
    Those crabapples are Fabulous cooked whole and spiced.Great to decorate the Turkey for the holidays. Beautiful Place.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...