Afternoon eKa CIRCLE
Last week I was fortunate enough to have a day trip for a picnic lunch; just a short drive from my home to a place my mum and sister were staying for a few days get away. A divine property in the southern highlands NSW Australia called the “Converted Dairy in Fitzroy Falls.” It is literally a converted dairy farm now landscaped into beautiful rambling gardens; complete with a man made lake & apples trees lining the driveway. This season has certainly made us appreciate our own backyard- Australia never ceases to amaze me as we do have it all.
We gathered apples and wild mushrooms like children in a playground and I thought that I would try my hand at a few apple recipes to share with eKa CIRCLE.
On returning home the first thing I made was an apple jam. I am an intuitive cook so I use whatever is in the fridge or cupboard and see how it turns out. It is my first attempt at a jam using tart apples. I added a few random strawberries that were in the fridge and some lovely fresh young ginger that I grated. I was visualising the jam turning a soft pink hue and I was delighted that it obliged. This jam is not too sweet so it may not keep as long as a typical jam recipe. Its delicious on scones or fresh pikelets.
Don’t forget to save the apple cores or at least half of them for the jam as the apple seeds are what help with the pectin so that the jam thickens. You can use the remaining apple cores and skins to make a cider spritz or an apple cider vinegar as I did. See the notes below for instructions.
Apple Strawberry & Ginger Jam
about 20 small apples, peeled and cored
handful of strawberries
1 small finger of fresh young ginger, grated
2 cups sugar
1 cup filtered water
Place the washed apples, strawberries, ginger, sugar and water into a heavy based saucepan. Tie the apple cores in a piece of muslin or calico and add to the pan. Simmer over a medium heat for about 30 minutes or until thick and fragrant. Spoon into sterilised jars, seal and refrigerate when cool.
I also have an apple cider vinegar brewing; It is my second attempt at this using the leftover apple skins and cores (my first attempt grew mould as I didn’t know that you should stir it every few days as it ferments). I shall let you know how it goes this time. Basically you add the washed apple skins and cores to a jar or a wide necked bottle, top with filtered water to cover (they must be completely covered) add a spoonful of sugar to start the fermentation process. Cover the jars or bottles with muslin and a rubber band to secure, set aside in a cool place for about 3-6 weeks (longer if you want it to be very sour).
It is important to keep the apples submerged so give them a stir every couple of day. My end pic is of the ferment after just a short 4 days, I decided to taste the brew and realised it is fizzy delicious cider tasting so I strained one bottle to enjoy with my soda water as a spritz drink. A screw top lid is good to gather the bubbles much like you would make kombucha for the second ferment. Strain the apple cores and skins from the liquid and using a funnel pour the liquid straight back into the jar or bottle. Use recycled bottles and jars whenever you can and the strained apple skins and cores can go straight into your garden compost.
There are still a few apples left from my jaunt and they are rather tart ones so I was thinking a chutney may be delicious – let me know if you have any good ideas.
love & light
M + E
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