On Wednesday, October 14, 2015 I’m leading a class called “Sweet & Delicious Cider Making” for Metro Continuing Education.
“There are countless apple trees in Edmonton, and cider is one of the best ways to preserve and consume local apples. Learn how to make sweet and aromatic apple juice and hard cider like you’ve never tasted before. Allan will show you how to crush, press and ferment your cider using affordable homemade equipment.”
Crabapple is my favourite jelly, hands down. The perfect balance of tart and sweet. A distinct, local flavour sitting in the pantry all year.
The following recipe works well for the Dolgo crabapples we get from Lisa’s dad’s backyard. I imagine there is huge variation in sweetness, acidity, and pectin content in crabapples across the region, so I can’t say for certain if this will work for you. But it’s a good base recipe.
For the record, I don’t core the apples. I don’t even stem them. I remove leaves, if I find it convenient. I mash with a fork and strain through a jelly-bag, so the seeds and stems don’t end up in the jelly. Pressing cider with Kevin … Continue reading.
Earlier in the month we pressed our apples into cider. The juice that ran from the press was sweet and tart, with a full, milky mouthfeel, and a subtle siltiness that I think was from the skins and seeds of the fruit. It had a cloudy, oxidated colour and was a pleasing drink in all of its many facets.
As with grapes, there is an abundance of natural yeast living on the skins of apples, and when you crush the fruit and mix the skins with the juices, the yeast has easy access to sugar. I’m always surprised by the efficacy and consistency of this natural fermentation. Basically the cider can sit in your basement for a week, … Continue reading.
Yet ev’n this Season Pleasance blithe affords,
Now the squeez’d Press foams with our Apple Hoards.
To most contemporary city-folk the word “cider” implies fermented apple juice. My grandparents made the distinction between “cider” (juice pressed from apples) and “hard cider” (fermented apple juice). For now I have simply made cider, and will leave the discussion of hard cider and its variants for another post.
This week we picked about 150 lbs of apples from three different trees:
- one beautiful, well-trained tree yielding large, blushing apples, which I will be referring to as “Ron’s apples”;
- one crabapple tree with bright red, tart fruit;
- one hideous, unkempt tree in our backyard that grows small green apples. The tree
… Continue reading.