Dad gave Mum an amazing apple press for Christmas from a company called Vigo. It can cope with 12 litres of apples at a time and is a great way of making the most of our orchard. Every autumn it's such a shame for us to waste so many lovely apples. They just land up being eaten by birds or getting squished into the grass and acting as a fruity mulch!
Dad has recently become moderately obsessed by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and is always super keen to show me how hot his compost is. We've now got plans for an asparagus bed and have just planted a handful of truffle trees. I am really keen for our orchard to evolve and am delighted that we have now got a quince, medlar, nectarine and apricot tree. So in a few years time we'll be able to make some amazing jellies, pastes and jams. I got the bug for jellies when I made crab apple and chili jelly last year.
So on Boxing Day, Dad and I decided to make the most of Mum's present! Having gathered the final apples that were clinging to our twiggy trees...
... we gave them a rinse and then fed them into apple mincer...
Once we'd mashed the first batch up we then pressed them and were thrilled to see loads of frothy golden juice spontaneously erupt from the press.
From our two pressings we were rewarded with around 4 or 5 litres of delicious, golden apple juice. It was sweet and cold with a slight edge of tartness.
Dad carted the pulp off to his precious compost heap whist I nipped indoors to warm up and quench my thirst.
Later in the day we made some Courvoisier and apple juice cocktails which were quite a hit.... even with my grandfather who claims that apple juice gives him a bad stomach!
We've got great plans for our apple pressing enterprise... at our garden's autumn open days we're going to be selling our own apple juice and hosting a "press your own" juice stand which should be really fun. If anyone has got any advice on how to preserve the juice naturally we'd love to hear from you!
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.