It must've been serendipitous because only moments before I was thinking I should make some chutney with some old apples I had in the fridge which were perfect for jamming, but too floury to eat.
I couldn't resist temptation and I picked a basket full of the delightful tiny fruit.
Amazingly the majority were unspoilt by bugs and insects. They look like they could be Gala apples- although Im not terribly good with apple varieties. They are sweet and tart to eat.
And so cute and photogenic!
Anyway they inspired me to get cooking. Last week a friend of mine was telling me about Apple Butter she used to eat with fried biscuits (like a scone, apparently its an American thing) so I was curious to see how you make it.
I found a recipe which looked pretty easy to make and got started. I choose it because I didn't have an apple peeler and the idea of peeling each of the tiny apples was pretty unappealing....
So I cut and cooked the apples in a water and vinegar solution and they were starting to soften nicely. The next stage of the recipe called for the boiled apples to be passed through a sieve - this sounded too hard to me - so I just blended them together and then added the sugar and spices....... It wasn't until the end of the cooking that I realised that straining the mixture gives it the 'buttery' texture. Because I was in a half hearted mood I had just made thick apple sauce! Its still yummy though and now I want to make the recipe properly.
In my searching I also found a recipe for making the apple sauce in the slow cooker or crock pot which takes about 12 hours. This looks like another easy recipe :) I am a big fan of this cooking device and so tomorrow morning I will be embarking on Apple Butter #2.
Im also hoping to make a Bengal Chutney - its main ingredient is also apples. I used to make this one all the time when I sold jams and chutneys for pocket money when I was studying at Art School. I cant find my original recipe (its stashed somewhere safe) but I found a similar one on the web.
You can click on the links below to each of the recipes I am referring to :
Whilst delighting in my discover of a windfall of apples it reminded me of a movement which I heard about in London where people were sharing fruits off neglected trees in urban environments. I found a page where someone was starting to document all the trees in London called Urban Forager - a fantastic idea! I don't like to see food go to waste, which got me started dabbling with the alchemy of preserving fruit in the first place.
With a little further research, I found an article in the Sydney Morning Herald similar concept undertaken by a Sydney sider.
Hmmmm. I could be onto something here.... there's heaps of old fruit trees near where I live.
Food for Thought - as they say!