apple juices and jellies

November 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm 14 comments

Lifting our fabulous haul of foraged apples in to the boot of the car a few weeks ago I had dreamy plans of supping on our own home made apple juice well into the winter months.  My juicer however had other ideas and in spite of being fairly heavy duty it found the skins on the apples a little too tough to easily chew up and spit out.  So we both gave up juicing after creating this one bottle of apple juice!  I’d researched how to ensure freshly pressed apple juice stores well, the key to which is pasteurising the apple juice and proceeded to heat the apple juice before bottling.  At least we were able to savour the juice rather than glugging it all in one go.  I’d barely made a dent in the apple mountain though so over the last couple of weeks I’ve been experimenting with various apple cordial combinations.

  • a rainy day apple cordial with warming spices; cinnamon, coriander, cloves
  • a blackberry and apple cordial using blackberries foraged from a playing field near my mum and dad’s house (and stored in their freezer until I was ready to retrieve them – thanks mum).
  • a raspberry and apple cordial produced using just a spoonful of sugar after giving the juicer another try – this time peeling and coring the apples first.  Still rather labour intensive for a relatively small quantity of juice but the addition of our allotment grown raspberries was really delicious.
  • a marm’apple cordial made using the leftover apple peelings and cores from all the juicing – a cordial variation of Pam Corbin’s ‘compost heap jelly‘ recipe.  I’ll be writing a separate post about jellies made with apple scraps but for now here’s what you can expect compost heap jelly to look like.  I renamed it Marm’apple because of it’s pairing of apples with oranges (and apple-ade sounded too much like a drink). Sue and Martin’s apples were naturally very sweet and disintegrated quickly when boiled so I’ve often been able to reduce the amount of sugar I add when using them to make fruit cordials.  The general rule of thumb when boiling and sugaring fruit to preserve as a cordial, so says Pam Corbin’s Preserves book, is:

1 kg hard fruit/blackcurrants + 600ml water to boil
1kg stone fruit + 300ml water to boil
1kg soft berries/rhubarb + 100ml water to boil.
Then add 700g sugar per 1 litre of strained fruit liquid.

ps.  this wasn’t my first experiment with apple cordials.  In the summer I made blackcurrant and apple cordial using Henri’s blackcurrants but I didn’t get round to mentioning that did I?   Here’s the post that would have been!

Entry filed under: in the kitchen. Tags: , , .

It’s stir-up Sunday making sweet pickled crab apples

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ann  |  November 24, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    You have been busy!!! The cordials looks delicious, I’ve never thought about making it, must give it a go.

  • 2. Cheryl  |  November 24, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    These look so tasty – I wish I had some right now!

  • 3. mangocheeks  |  November 24, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    You are a busy bee. I am so envious.

  • 4. Jacqueline  |  November 24, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    I am really impressed with your cordials. I love cordial. I don’t like coffee or tea, so I tend to drink lots of water and for variety some cordial in the evenings. I have given up straight fruit juice since my pregnanacy has progressed. The heartburn is dreadful, but cordial is still ok.

  • 5. miss m  |  November 25, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Your cordials look lovely, Nic. They make me want to chug-a-lug them !
    Chug-a-lug-a-lug … Aaaaahhh !

  • 6. Margaret  |  November 25, 2009 at 9:35 am

    All of the cordials look very impressive. How wonderful.

  • 7. mo  |  November 25, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    cor – blimey. YUM-O!!

    I made some elderflower cordial back in the spring / summer. it is totally delicious. I love homemade cordials. We are putting some into our home made xmas hampers this year. I like the sound of these. Mind you we have no fruit to forage here…..

  • 8. reapwhatyougrow  |  November 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    These look fantastic. I will bear cordial in mind when we get a glut of fruit (if we ever do!). I quite fancy plum cordial for some reason?

  • 9. Nip it in the bud  |  November 25, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Ann & Cheryl – delicious and easy peasy

    Mangocheeks – I may drink well but I don’t eat half as well as you with all your lovely wholesome creations

    Jaq – home made cordial is so much nicer than shop bought squash. And although you add quite a bit of sugar we like it quite week and the fruit flavour is refreshing and zingy. Your bump obviously has discerning taste ;o)

    Miss M – chug-a-lug-a-lug to hearts content my dear. I’ll save you a bottle for when you come to get your raspberry gin {grin}

    Margaret – thanks, nice of you to pop over. Your not too far from here

    Mo – I think Elderflower is still my favourite too but picked them a bit late this year. I’ve spotted several trees since so have a number of locations mapped in my head for next years foraging. Lovely idea to gift them – shame we drank all of ours within a few weeks. At least there’s apples now…

    Moyra – our damson cordial was delicious so I imagine plum cordial would be similar. Definitely try it next year, you won’t regret it. Cordials really can be made with just about any fruit.

  • 10. Tracey  |  November 25, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Those cordials caught my attention, so bright and look good enough to drink, I love the marmapple name, its great and that it uses all the left overs from the fruit peel and cores.

    mmmm I’ve just remembered I have some foraged blackberries in the freezer, you have certainly convinced me to give apple and blackberry cordial a try, thanks for your post!


  • 11. Bilbo  |  November 29, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Those cordial bottles look sublime. How much do you dliute them? 1:10? was wondering how far a bottle would go. Have you diluted them using sparkling water, that would make a super refreshing drink?

    You are envious of my satin stitch {giggle} and I am deeply envious of your provisioning, I think your skills are more useful than mine {hugs}

    • 12. Nip it in the bud  |  November 29, 2009 at 6:25 pm

      same as normal squash which is probably about 1:6? The first time I made it I reduced the amount of sugar but this seems to reduce the strength of the flavour too. So although is seems like a shocking amount of sugar it’s not much once they are diluted and your cordial goes further when it’s sweeter because you use less of it. It’s delicious with sparkling water ;o)

  • 13. sampling Five Valleys fruit cordials | Nip it in the bud  |  September 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    […] all the things I missed most while bringing up baby last year, making fruit cordials, jellies and chutneys was high up my list.  I love the process of growing your own food and and […]

  • 14. five ways with … a ton of apples | Nip it in the bud  |  October 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    […] .apple and berry cordials […]


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About Nip it in the bud

Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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