Friday 22 January 2016

January Apple Talk

On Campobello Island you will find literally thousands of apple trees. These trees are remnants from a time when people still planted their own orchards.

Over the years various critters have been spreading the apple seeds around.
That way, it is hard to say whether our trees are planted or self-sown apple trees.

So far, we have found about 5 different sorts of apples on our property.
It is not easy to find out what kind of apples that might be, but I am pretty much convinced that they are all heirloom apples, and all are grown without any use of pesticides.
The one to the right is a good cooking apple and stores very well. 
The one to the left, showed "ridges" like a bell pepper. 
The one in the middle turned out to be a desert apple only.
Some apples ripen in late August, some in September. Some carry fruit every year, others only every other year (biannual).

You will find trees that keep their apples until the middle of December!
Even after a few frosty nights they were still good to eat and tasted delicious.

We harvested most of these late apples on the November 22/2015.
One type of apples: January 22, 2016. The longer these apples 
are stored, more pronounced the "ridges" are.
According to a description about late apples they should be very good storage apples. Truth is, they are. 
We have used these apples since I put them down in a cold room, and
two month later they still taste sweet, fruity and have a mild acidity. Their skin has become more and more waxy, though.
Old fashioned apples
How long will my stored apples last. Until February?
Maybe even until March? The tart ones I will make into applesauce.
But we cannot eat them all in time before they will start to rot.
And that would be such a waste!

Therefore I decided to try and make dried apple rings.
The "apple peeler-corer-slicer-machine"
A while ago we acquired an apple peeler that also slices and removes the core. Neat!
 I used the best looking apples, washed them,
cut them into rings with the machine and layered them
on a cookie sheet. I left the peel on for added fibre. I also could have bathed them in lemon juice/water to avoid oxidation, but I didn't have lemon at hand. I former times not all house wives hat access to lemons either.
After 6 hours by 170°F (76 °C) the rings were done. (That is the lowest setting on my oven.)
The slices were left in the oven over night to cool down completely
before I filled them into mason jars. 
A tablespoon of dry rice added to each jar will keep any future moisture out. Now the apples can be refrigerated for several more month. I doubt they will last that long.

Making dried apple rings is definitely something I will do again! Next time I also will try the lemon-washed-and-sprinkled-with-cinnamon way of treating the apple slices.

These apple rings turned out delicious! 
So long!

I you liked this, check out my postings about "non cooking" related stuff.