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30 August 2015 @ 12:21 pm
a feast of strawberries  

I was in town yesterday and saw a fruit vendor with 1-kilo flats of strawberries for €5 each, which I thought was an excellent deal. I bought two, came home with them, and went back out not much later to get (other things also, but) four more.

The young lady at the booth looked at me a bit askance when I came up and asked for four flats. I explained I was making jam, and she said, “Oh! Okay. I was wondering if you maybe had a bit of an addiction.” I said, “I don’t like to talk about it,” and she laughed and said she had a 3 kilo box for €10, and did I want that. I did, so I bought, er, 7 kilos of strawberries yesterday, and hulled them all and froze them in jam-batch-sized portions and very soon now I’ll make them into jam. Except the ones that are going into a strawberry-rhubarb crumble this afternoon.

We have concluded to our satisfaction that at least one of the apple trees has Brambly apples, which are meant to be good cooking apples. I’ve been pointed at a site on how to make pectin from apples, and we’re going to have so many apples I’m more than a little tempted to give pectin-making a shot, just for the hell of it. I can’t find any recipes online that really seem to use it, but I do have at least two pre-1950 cookbooks, so I should look in those. If I do all of that successfully I’ll post recipes and stuff, as I seem to recall there are quite a few jam-makers reading my blog. :)

Even if I don’t go the pectin-making route I’m going to have So Many Apples. I’m going to have to freeze zillions of them. I shall regret not having a chest freezer before this is all over, I can tell, but I will persevere with what I’ve got by thinking of apple pie, applesauce, apple muffins, apple bread, apple cobbler, apple crumble, apple fritters, apple eeeeeeeeeverything, all made from apples picked in the back garden. :)

Now I’m hungry and shall go in search of food. But not apples, because they’re not ripe yet. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on August 30th, 2015 02:56 pm (UTC)
Many of my jam making recipes still call for pectin, although I'm not sure how you'd measure the home made stuff. How on earth do you get this all done!

I have golden delicious apples and some kind of mystery apple that is pretty sour (which didn't matter for the first 12 years I lived here, because I only got a couple of apples a year, but this year for some reason it is suddenly covered). The golden delicious make fabulous applesauce!
kitmizkit on August 30th, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
The measuring the homemade stuff is in fact part of the problem. It's apparently a much more hit-or-miss way of jam making, until you learn how to eyeball it, basically. And also from what I'm reading on the net it takes about 2x as long to boil the jam satisfactorily as storebought pectin so it may not be *worth* it...
cgbookcat1: giraffecgbookcat1 on August 30th, 2015 04:18 pm (UTC)
If you are willing to do a slightly runny strawberry-rhubarb preserve, you may be able to leave extra pectin out all together. I have had good luck with that, and with using no added pectin in general when using fruits that already contain it. This allows me to use less sugar.

For the apples, do you have access to a dehydrator? I slice apples thinly, dunk them in lemony water, arrange on the rack, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Fill up all the racks, dry according to the directions, and store. It makes delicious dried apples. I also make spiced apple butter in a crock pot (applesauce with a lot of the water taken out) and eat it with peanut butter on toast.
anthony_lionanthony_lion on September 1st, 2015 12:33 pm (UTC)
That sounds delicious. Do you remove the skin off of the apples, or leave it? (I have a dehydrator somewhere... )
Rhubarb contains a lot of starches and stuff, so it's a good 'filler' in jam.
Warning for those who haven't messed much with Rhubarb: Do not boil it in a metal casserole with a 'oxidized' look inside it. The acids in the rhubarb will dissolve the oxydation. Sure the pot will be gleaming afterwards, but you end up with some nasty stuff in the jam.
cgbookcat1: Melsinkcgbookcat1 on September 1st, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, I leave the skins on to dehydrate, but I like the texture contrast. It's also much faster.
martianmooncrab: pic#59898509martianmooncrab on August 30th, 2015 06:52 pm (UTC)
start making your own applejack... grin.
coraline73 on August 30th, 2015 08:41 pm (UTC)
Bramley apples are indeed good for cooking.
DO you have brambles in the garden? If you make bramble jelly you use some apple in it and that provides enough pectin to set - you needn't add extra.
Alix (Tersa): Castle - Teatimetersa on August 31st, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
*moves in and brings a chest freezer*