Monday, August 01, 2011

Wild apple harvest - Apple Jelly Part 1

We have said many a time how we can't pass up foraging for wild foods when we come across them.  We were visiting a friend's house today and saw a huge old apple tree, just laden with apples and the ground around covered completely with small semi-ripened mottled apples.  We have our own large old wild apple tree that is ready for harvest later this summer, but we couldn't resist these apples.  Not blemish-free (as no real food should be), but we tasted a few bites, quite tart yet delicious and perfect for a not-to-sweet jelly or applesauce.  There was far too much for one household to use, so we gladly filled our bags with these little apples and started the process of apple jelly making - to be continued tomorrow.  Today we washed, chopped, and cooked the apples, mashed them, and strained the juice through a cheesecloth.  Tomorrow the jelly gets cooked with pectin (Pumona's low sugar variety) and sugar, then processed in clean jars and stacked on the shelf for winter enjoyment.

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