Waste not, want not…
The other day, I visited my neighbour, Renate, to check out photos of her new grandson (he is very cute) and, as usual, I left with a bag of goodies. This time my bag included some windfall Royal Gala apples. A friend of Renate’s had allowed her to pick up windfalls from his orchard. These apples were destined to rot on the ground. Renate was making all sorts of goodies with her bounty.
I decided to preserve mine, otherwise it would have been stewed apples for breakfast for several days in a row which can be a bit tiring.
- Wash, peel and core the apples and cut them into pieces. Whilst doing this, soak the peeled apples in water with the juice of a lime (or lemon) to stop them discolouring .
- Bring a pot of light syrup to the boil (2 cups of sugar to l litre of water).
- Once boiling, drop the apple pieces into the syrup. Once the syrup comes back to the boil, gently boil for 5 minutes.
- Pack the apples in hot sterilised jars and cover them in the syrup, leaving about 1.5 cm headspace in the jar.
- Process the jars in boiling water for 20 minutes.
You don’t need any fancy equipment to process in boiling water. I was in Perth and didn’t have any of my preserving equipment with me so I used a large pot. The only requirement is that the pot be tall enough to cover the jars completely and large enough so that the jars don’t touch. You will also need a trivet or something to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot. I used some bits of wood that Maus cut to fit. You don’t need any fancy preserving jars either. I used 2 second-hand jars and 2 new ones – my stock of jars were down south. I bought the taller jars from Silverlock and the lids from Cospak and Silverlock.
Remember those apple cores and peels? Well, in the spirit of ‘waste not, want not’, I decided to try making Celia’s (Fig Jam and Lime Cordial) homemade pectin. Click here for her detailed post.
- Put the cores and peel in a pot and just cover them in water. I pushed them down with my hand so they wouldn’t float when working out how much water I needed.
- Boil the cores and peel for two hours.
- Strain the cores and peel through a cloth-lined sieve (I used an old pillow case). Don’t push to get the last drop of fluid as it will make the liquid cloudy.
- Bring the resultant liquid back to the boil and boil to reduce slightly. On Celia’s instructions, I didn’t boil too long as I like my jam quite runny.
- Pour into hot sterilised jars and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.
Because I was a little bit sceptical that it would work, I followed Celia’s instructions and put a small spoonful in the fridge to cool and then put it in methylated spirits to see if it worked. Sure did! I had a little bit of jelly on the end of my spoon. I made three jars of pectin. Here’s hoping the next time I make jam out of a fruit that is low in pectin, one of these little jars will make it so much easier.
There you go! Seven jars of produce and one perfect apple (that Maus ate) out of something that would have been wasted.