Johnny appleseed is my homey. Well, at least he would have been if i had lived in the 1700’s. he was born in massachusetts – and traveled all around these parts. And yes, he was the stuff legends are made of, but he was a real live person. He planted apple trees everywhere around the northeast and on through to the midwest. it’s true!
trees like this:
Even though it’s a bit old, was here long before i got here (maybe j. apple really did plant it!) and of course n’er a spray would i have touch the leaves or fruit.
This ‘ole tree bares a lot of apples! way more than we could eat out of hand or even out of jelly or jam. Way more fruit than the three little gooseberries-that-try bushes i have.
so what the hell am i doing using up all my gooseberries for a pectin boost? It’s july peeps! it’s apple pectin making month! …and green apples are everywhere!
thanks to johnny!
1. stem & coarsely chop apples, blemishes are fine to leave in but discard any parts gone bad, bruises or worm bits. 🙂 make sure to leave cores and seeds in.
2. place in non-reactive pan (stainless or enameled iron only) and add water. bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. stir a few times throughout to make sure all apples get saturated.
3. line a colander with cheesecloth or butter muslin and place over a bowl. pour in cooked apple mixture. let drain for 2 hours.
4. return strained liquid to pan and boil down by half.
place in fridge to use in 2 weeks, freeze for up to 2 months, or hot water bath can for larder storage up to a year. if you choose to hot water bath, leave 1/4 inch headspace and process for 10 minutes.
2/3 cup of good apple pectin stock will be sufficient to set 4 1/2 pounds of medium or low pectin fruit to jam.
to make jelly use equal cups of stock & sugar, and some added lemon juice. generally 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to 3 cups stock/3 cups sugar will do it. it’s july!
get out & get some pectin-making apples – and thank johnny appleseed while you’re at it! update: confiture de tigresse
i’ve managed to find organic stawberries and raspberries so far. sadly i missed the cherry season, it was impossible to find unsprayed cherries in the berkshires!
the strawberries went in the third week of june, they are a very strange color and i was a bit worried. but i don’t detect any odd smell so i’m staying with it. the raspberries were put in a few days ago. i’ve learned a few more things so far:
1. it’s best to weight the fruit down, you can use a plate if you have one that fits. i used the weights that came with the crock and i think they are a bit heavy for soft fruit like berries.
2. it’s pretty hard to wing it & try to cover the fruit with sugar by sprinkling it over as i had originally planned. and the shape of this crock makes that action particularly hard to do. so i am going to add sugar at 1/2 the weight of the fruit. i’ve also read that to avoid sugar granules in your final product it is best to let the fruit sit for one hour in sugar and macerate. i’ll add sugar to fruit in a bowl, let it sit for an hour and then add to crock moving forward.
3. i went with kirsch, which is traditional for summer fruits. but any spirit will do as long as it is 80 proof, or 40% by volume.