Sunday, 2 May 2010

Preserved apples ~ and a good fruit, sugar and water ratio

Apple blossom
I harvested wonderful free fruit from a neighbour's neglected tree.  If left it falls on the ground and he goes over it with the lawn mower!  Excellent, as I know the tree hasn't been sprayed at all.  Plenty of bug-eaten bits to cut out so quite a bit of work, but delicious and what bounty!

The image here isn't the actual fruit picked, but very like it in appearance.  Spot the apricot wood bowl!

Once the fruit was prepared I still had nine kilos which gave me 30 jars of fruit, and as the jars were mostly large ones I'm delighted with this result.

Standing the fruit in water as we prepared it meant that it greatly reduced browning.  I drained that water off before tipping the fruit into the hot syrup.

The ratios turned out to be a little different from what worked so well for pears, but not much.  The apples required less sugar and more water.

The ratio used was:
One kilo of fruit, two thirds of a cup of sugar and six cups of water.  And four cloves.

Using the larger of my two stock pots I was able to cook the fruit in three kilo batches.  Spot the cloves:

The sugar ratio will probably vary with the sweetness of the fruit, but I would say that the amount I used was relatively conservative.

Of course you needn't put in any sugar at all, but if you eat it with sugar added this is the time to do it.

If you are considering tackling a job of this size it does take quite a while: this lot took me all day yesterday and I did have help, but how rewarding and all for the price of six cups of white sugar.  Oh, and a cake to the owner of the tree to say thank you!  Better go and do it!

Postscript: for ElizT's recipe for Guava Jelly, refer to the "comments" below - thanks for that, ElizT!

More of my articles about jam and preserves as well as other food articles can be found listed together via the link below:


ElizT said...

I have just done this season's second lot of guava jelly, by my easy, cloudy, no fuss method but that could be it. fruit small and dry after drought conditions, though I did water the ground beneath the tree a couple of times.

Leigh said...

Oh, terrific! If you felt inclined to share the recipe I'd be happy to add it to the collection here. Cloudy sounds fine to me - I can't understand the emphasis on jellies being clear. No guavas this far south of course.

ElizT said...

I used to follow the basic jelly instructions in "Jams Jellies and other preserves, one of a series put out ages ago [1966] by the Dept of Univ. Extension Univ. of Otago, but now I just wash the fruit [these are "strawberry" guavas], have everything clean, scalded or oven heated. Cook fruit gently until soft, squash with potato masher,put stainless steel colander over steel bowl, pour fruit in and bash about with wooden jam-spoon, use coarse strainer to remove pips, measure liquid. Whatever mils of liquid it comes to I weigh grammes of sugar. Liquid back in pan, brought to boil, sugar added and stirred till dissolved, rolling boil till drip hangs from spoon, then into jars. All quick and easy if done in small batches rather than one exhausting effort. Sometimes I add a Granny Smith apple.

ElizT said...

Forgot: when cooking fruit have water level only to just cover fruit.

Leigh said...

Thanks for this - it's a welcome addition to the files here!