Saturday, 11 September 2010

Feeling fruity!

The apples on our middle tree (Golden Noble,  one of the world's best cookers according to by Rosanne Sanders apple book) are ripe. 

They've been ripe for some time,  and they announce this quite loudly by falling on the roof of the chicken run and making everyone jump.

Many of them have been ruined by the parakeets, already rotten before they fall.  The Girls have been scrumping on windfalls for weeks. I normally clear the rotting ones each day.  Yesterday I caught Daisy pecking at one of the rotten ones which I had missed. I had visions of what an intoxicated chicken might get up to, and took it away from her.

DH has been apple picking for the last few days, packing the apples carefully between layers of newspaper in plastic crates.   We did have some apple boxes in the shed, but we threw them away one day in the summer when having a clearout - we associated boxes with chickens, and couldn't imagine why we had that shaped box for chooks. (One of the perils of getting middle aged.)

We will have to do some pruning this year, as some of the branches are just too far away, even with the apple picker fully extended

Anyway.  36kg of apples were stacked neatly in our kitchen, and yesterday we  started the process of turning them them into Cider.   Firstly, they were washed... 
 .. then crushed in our electric mill, then pressed to extract the juice.  The Specific Gravity of the juice was measured, so we now how much sugar to add.

We now have about 20 Litres of juice fermenting in a big fermenting barrel on the kitchen floor.

I need to pick a few more of these apples to make Dorset Apple Cake,  and I'd also like to stew some and freeze it for apple-y things in winter. I need to be in a preserving mood to do it. Maybe next week.

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