Meet Julia

Julia is the sort of person who has dropped round a lasagne, two casseroles and an apple crumble, before the doctor has even finished diagnosing your incapacitating illness. She is there for everybody, all the time (though perhaps not Julia) She achieves this with two tiny tots and some bigger tots as well. She recently made us some apple jam that G is in ecstasies over and she kindly has written out the recipe especially for you, gentle reader. And so welcome to my first. Ever. Guest. Blogger.

(The picture is of apples from Locks Park Farm, stories from a small organic farm in Devon )

The joy of windfalls…
The fascination of something for nothing.  So little effort and such great rewards…
Boil up a pan full of fallen Bramleys and it is stunning the pleasure you can derive!
Wash said plunder and chop into quarters, merely removing bad bits and live cargo.  Boil the fruit within an inch of their life in enough water to just cover them in a large pan.
In the meantime allow self much smugness and either multi task blithely or sit back, heels up, enjoying a fragrant cup of tea in real china – or just pretend with most comforting mug…
When boiled to soft mushy pulp, remove from heat.
Erect a make shift strainer thingummyjig by using an upturned four legged stool and a well washed muslin knotted firmly one corner to each leg.  Position a very large bowl under said muslin ‘net’.  Carefully fill muslin with mush and juice and leave to drip through slowly over night.
The Juice…
Next morning having set aside all other mundane matters transfer remaining dehydrated apple mush in the suspended muslin bag into a bowl without squeezing any more juice out, if you were to do so, horrors, this would result in cloudy jelly!!!
Boil up the clear “juice” with 1lb sugar to each 1pint juice, bring to the boil and boil, boil, boil until it reaches the elusive setting point.  Pot into sterilised jars and impress your friends by saying such things as “look at how it catches the light when you hold it up” and “its good in gravy with pork you know!” and so on… as if you truly are the cookery whizz incarnate you so lovingly wish to be…
Having stunned all with your prowess at making jelly (not only good on toast but as a change to apple sauce or with ice cream…)… you turn your attentions to the grey sodden mush you are left with, oh yes, peppered with pips, core and stalks… not to mention skins…  destined for the compost bin? Not yet by gum!
Push the mush through a metal sieve a couple of spoonfulls at a time until you are left with what looks like a cow pat on a drab day and a pile of skins and pips… Compost the skins and pips at this point and throw caution to the wind.
The Mush…
The same rule applies basically, 1lb of mush to 1lb of sugar.  Boil together
When the mush keeps a clean line across it when you draw the edge of a spoon across it, it is ready.  You can boil it down to as thick as you want really.  But at this stage it qualifies for the title of a fruit “cheese” rather than a “butter”.  This is good with pork as an alternative to apple sauce or with ice cream… are you noticing a pattern developing?!  Or, darn it, you could just eat it by the spoonful straight out of the jar cos it IS that good… I am toying with next time omitting the sugar and just going the whole hog and melting some toffees into the mush and calling it: Toffee Apple Sauce… and yes, the capitals lend credence to the concept… and no, that probably wouldn’t be so good with pork!!!  :0)
have fun…. xx
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