hearthstrung

apple day

One fresh Sunday at the beginning of November, Chris called me up to help him pick apples. He had discovered two large trees in the backyard of his work, heavy with fruit and no one to put it to use. The sad fate of many an urban fruit tree. But not these.

bras

We were very active pickers, climbing wherever our weight would hold then breaking out the ladder.

chris

We ate as we went – crisp, huge bites. One tree had larger, crisper, tarter apples; the other, smaller, rounder, sweeter.

There was also a chestnut tree.

chestnut

Our haul, somewhere around 35kg I’d say.

haul

We couldn’t bike back from Frederiksberg to Christianshavn with that load. We took to the metro and gave a few away on the train. Fall is a nice time.

Once back at the lab, the fun got underway. When life gives you a glut, it becomes a creative exercise: how many different versions of apple can we make?

We juiced a bunch for cider and vinegar. The foam that rises to the top is divine – tart, sweet, rich and airy as mousse.

foam

We made applesauce. A big pot of it.

sauce

We took the pulp from the juicer, passed it through a tamis to take out all the skins and seeds and tough bits, heated it on the stove and melted in some chocolate.

structure

At Terra Madre, I met Santiago Peralta of Pacari Chocolate from Ecuador. They make some great chocolate and people have noticed – he just won Best Dark Chocolate in the world for his 70% ‘raw’ bar. And it’s pretty incredible stuff.

I ended up at his table a couple times. He kept giving me things to taste. Finally it got to the point where he was rummaging in his cabinet for industry samples. He gave me this huge kilogram block of raw couverture. Perfect for melting into some Danish apple butter.

age

choco-mousse

We roasted all the peels from the sauce apples with oil and salt. Delicious delicious crisps to snack on while we worked.

peels

Speaking of crisp, we made some of that too.

crisp

Then there were some smaller apples left. We baked them until soft, then put them in jars to preserve in syrup.

baked

One with juniper wood, the other with malt.

jarred

And those last few runts and stragglers? Into 2% brine to ferment.

brine

Our bounty, transformed.

fruits

Oh, and we kept some whole for eating of course.

About a week later, the cider was ready for bottling.

cider

I now have some aging at the lab and at home.

I bottled about half and began some vinegars with the rest.

vinegars

Perfect circumstances for an experiment. Two types of cider (one from the tarter apples, one from the sweeter), with and without juniper wood, for that lovely resinous quality. Next best thing to a barrel. To the cider, about one quarter raw vinegar for the mother, covered with cloth, tied with twine, and left to sit. Will report in a few months.

The sauce provided many nice breakfasts.

sauce

As did the choco-butter.

choko

The sweeter, softer apples were already brining up nicely.

crush

The harder, tarter ones needed a little more time.

halv

Eventually, they would find their way into a dish.

Advertisements
This entry was published on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 6:45 pm. It’s filed under adventures, day-to-day eats, experiments, food, general and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “apple day

  1. Oh my, this sounds like an absolutely perfect day.

  2. So what’s on the butter? Chocolate and apples? 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: