- October 18th 2013
Apple season is upon us and it has been a bumper year. The weather conditions have been perfect for this crop and apple trees all over the British Isles are laden with fruit ripe for the picking.
The fruit of an apple tree plucked straight from its branches tastes amazing and there are so many different varieties to be discovered, all with their own specific character. The orchard we visited last week had rows and rows of old English varieties such as Cox, Pippin and Russet, all of which are ‘eating’ apples rather than ‘cookers’. Different varieties flourish at different times of the season and the key to keeping fruit fresh starts with the perfect pick.
If an apple has dropped from the tree naturally or if the skin is bruised or damaged slightly, it isn’t a keeper. Make sure to choose fruit that is firm, unblemished and comes away from the tree with ease. You shouldn’t have to tug it from the branch. Unlike other fruit, apples will not ripen once picked.
For successful storage apples need to be kept in a cool, well-ventilated, frost-free environment, so a shed or garage is perfect. It’s true that one bad apple can spoil a whole crop, so wrapping them individually in newspaper is also a great way to preserve them and prevent rotting.
If you have a spare morning or afternoon and the weather is dry, we would urge anyone to go and pick some apples from either a nearby PYO orchard or even your neighbour’s garden - as long as they agree of course!
A simple apple sauce recipe – to accompany a Sunday roast
You will need:
4 cooking apples
Zest of one lemon
1tsp caster sugar
knob of butter
Peel, core and chop the apples
Put them in a saucepan along with the lemon zest
Bring to the boil and then simmer until the fruit is soft but still has some texture.
Stir in the sugar and butter whilst still warm and then leave to cool.
The sauce can then be served with a nice piece of roast pork and crackling….delicious!