Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Deliciously Dried Apples April 23rd 2013

I have so many apples this year that I have been looking for new things to do with them. Rather than let the possums gradually nibble their way through the entire crop hanging on the tree, I have harvested them all over the past couple of weeks. Now they are sitting in boxes in a previously empty fridge in another building on the farm. Hopefully this will act like a cool room and they will last us for several months in good condition.
Roaming around the second hand shops in town, I found one of these apple peeler/slicer/corer gadgets for a good price.
The hardest part is to get the apple centred.

Wind the handle and magically the apple gets peeled sliced and cored.

 Perfect I thought  for doing all the peeling and chopping required to make dried apple rings. A hiking friend told me about being given some delicious dried apple rings sprinkled with cinnamon when she was walking in the South west of Tasmania so I thought that would be a recipe worth trying.

After a few practices, I worked out how the peeler worked and got down to business. Rather than individual slices, they turned out  like an apple slinky but a quick slice through turned the slinky into numerous slices. Apples oxidise really quickly when cut so I once I put them through the gadget I immediately put them in some acidulated water (water with a bit of lemon juice) while I did the next apple. Then it was onto the dryer trays, sprinkle with cinnamon and leave to dry for several hours. They took about 6-8 hours to get to a pliable leathery texture and  I kept removing ones as they got to that point, not wanting to overdry them to the point where they were crisp. The result is very tasty and I look forward to eating them on hikes in the future if they don’t get eaten before that!

 We had a French couchsurfer staying with us over the weekend and when she saw all the silverbeet in the garden offered to cook us lunch. This is a recipe from the south of France for a silverbeet pancake. I didn’t write down the name so have forgotten what she called it. It was a vivid green so looked great accompanied by a multi coloured salad.

For any readers of this blog who are return visitors, I now have a subscribe gadget on the right hand side of the page. No idea if it works so if anyone tries it, can you leave a comment for me.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Fruity Glut, or is that a Fruit Glutton? April 9th 2013

I have been a bit neglectful of this blog of late. That is not because I haven't been doing anything but more that I am just repeating things I have already posted about.
We have so much fruit ripening at the moment it is hard to keep up with it.  All the peaches are picked and while a couple of kilo are still sitting in a bowl in the fridge, I have bottled, jammed, stewed, dried and eaten lots already. The Golden Queen variety that I grow is a clingstone which makes it more fiddly to stone them to do things with but the flavour is magnificent, much better than the early freestone peaches that I bought in early summer just to taste. When bottled or stewed, the taste takes me back to childhood when a special treat was a tin of cling peaches for dessert.  One casualty of the wet spring of 2012 was the nectarine tree which, despite several sprays of  fungicide at bud burst, was really badly affected by curly leaf. This meant the entire crop consisted of about 8 nectarines. Perhaps that was a good thing as what would I have done with more?

I seem to find ripe passionfruit on the ground every time I walk past the Nelly Kelly vine.  We are now onto our 3rd and 4th apple trees almost ripe while there is still a big box of the Cox’s Orange Pippen in the cheese fridge/mini coolroom.  And finally the raspberries are now onto their second crop for the year and I am picking every couple of days. What more is there to do but make a fruit salad of a mixture of everything that is ripe.

With the windfall apples I have been making juice and cider with the second hand juicer I bought recently . This replaces the one I have had for 30 years which although still working, is not the best design for large amounts of fruit. I am hoping that kiwi fruit juice is tasty as I see that as an easy fruit to juice when the huge crop starts to ripen in the couple of months.