How to preserve your windfalls (or someone else’s) Part one – Sweet
Most of us know someone who has an apple tree if we don’t ourselves. At this time of year if you live in a particularly friendly area you might find a box of apples outside someones house that says ‘please help yourself’ so do help yourself and here is something to do with them. This recipe is pretty much from this book (with a few tweaks) which is my bible for pickling and preserving. Really worth getting hold of if its still available. Everything is set out in alphabetical order so you just look up your fruit or veg of choice and there is a number of recipes for each thing.
Sweet and spicy preserved apples
This can be made now but needs to sit and mature in flavour for at least two months so would therefor be perfect for Christmas presents. In the next couple of days I will post a savoury recipe which also needs a couple of months to mature.
Start with approximately 2 1/2lb’s of eating apples. Peeling is optional depending on what the skin is like. Core them and cut into pieces maybe quarters or eighths. Have a bowl of water and lemon juice to hand to put the apples in as you prepare them so they don’t go brown. When you are ready to use them drain and pat dry with a tea towel.
Heat together 3/4 pint of water with 3/4 pint of ginger wine add 1 lb 12 oz of sugar, a large cinnamon stick 2 inch or so piece of root ginger bruised and halved and 9 cloves. Bring this mixture to the boil and boil for ten minutes. Drain the syrup to remove the spices and place the syrup back in the pan, add the apples and the peel of a lemon.
Simmer everything until the apples soften stirring occasionally to make sure they cook evenly. Prepare some jars. I used two large ones and one small one, or five small ones should do the trick. Clean them and sterilise them. Using a holey spoon take the apples a spoon at a time out of the syrup and place in the jars with a few bits of the same spices that were in the syrup at the beginning (but fresh ones!). Keep the jars and apples warm.
Boil the remaining syrup until it thickens a bit and then pour over the apples to cover. Add a few more bits of spice to the top of the jar and put the lids on. Leave for at least two months for all the flavours to mature. If you are planning to give them away you could label them using a glass painting paste and add some lovely material to cover the lid.