Friday, 19 September 2008

A pressing matter

Yesterday our new apple crusher arrived, and so we set about processing our own apples for the first time this year.

We had many kilos of two varieties. The third tree's apples are still not ready, and my eyes water at the memory of my having to sample it. We found we still had to at least halve the apples before crushing them, but it was OK. Having washed, cut and milled the 10 or 11 kilos, we were ready to move on to pressing.

In previous years we've used my multifunction Bosch food machine thingy. I have the fruit press attachment for it (along with numerous other useful attachments, most of which I have had to import from Germany or the US, as the machine is no longer sold in the UK.) We even used it last year, when we processed 120Kg of apples. This year we decided to dig out DH's ancient wine press to use.

It was easy to use, and quicker than the electric pulper, but it didn't do a good job of extracting the juice. We ran the pressed pulp through the Bosch, and got loads more out so we decided to stick with the Bosch.

And part way through the second 10 kilos, it packed up. Horrible smell, worse sound. Likely the motor or the gearing, both of which are uneconomical to replace. We thought about buying a new base from Germany, which was more cost effective than buying the spare parts from Bosch in England. Maybe. Not sure it's really worth it...apart from the numerous attachments I have in various cupboards.

So we went back to the wine press, as I'd already washed and cut the third ten-kilos of apples.

Later, we checked out the Boswch again, and it seems that it might be OK. I'll see what it's like next time I need to use it (which will be next time I make butter). We decided that it's probably pushing our luck trying to use it for apple processing again, so we decided to invest in a proper, decent sized, apple press.

Once again, came up trumps. We found them yesterday when we needed to get some bits and pieces (that failed to turn up from another supplier). Although AoB do Next Day Delivery, we want to finish the apples over the weekend if possible, so we drove over there again today to collect the press.

It's all been washed and sterilised; DH is up a ladder collecting a few more crates of apples; and we'll crack on with it tomorrow.

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