I’ve been busy harvesting our apples before the jackdaws peck them all and they fall and rot on the ground.
Our apple tree is only a modest size but its apples are huge. I’ve tried to identify which variety it is and I’m sure it’s Howgate Wonder.
Its description is: green with red stripes, late season and primarily a cooking apple but sweet enough to eat. It’s most obvious feature is its size: the apples are very large. Our biggest weighed in at 390g – that’s just over 13.5oz – and had a whole branch to itself!
Our tree seems to fruit on a biennial basis. Two years ago we had so many we got fed up with apple crumble. We thought of buying an apple press but they’re expensive and take up time and space so I looked for a commercial press online. I found one a short drive away and dropped my apples off – about two large boxes. I was amazed when they rang me to say they had made 36 bottles! That was more than I bargained for and at more than £2 per bottle it did end up being rather expensive. However I stopped buying fresh fruit juice at the supermarket and gave some away as Christmas presents.
The company we use doesn’t add any sugar to the juice, just some lemon juice to stop it browning and then it’s pasteurised so it lasts up to eight months. It was a little more tart than shop bought juice which isn’t a bad thing and it was more refreshing. They will also juice pears and will add soft fruits like raspberries. The only fruit they can’t press is stone fruits like plums or cherries.
This year we’ve picked five large boxes of apples and we’ve just dropped them off at the apple press. I’m really looking forward to fresh, home-grown apple juice again!