Apples… and what to do with them…

Maybe I should have had the title ‘Apples, and what to do with them?’ We have an apple tree in our garden, a Worcester, and once again I can see it has lots of small apples growing on it, so come the end of September we will have lots of apples, as we did last year and the year before.

Years ago, twenty odd years ago I should think, we went to a garden centre on Somerset which was having a promotion on apples. It was autumn time, and various growers had brought along their different fruit for people to try; it must have been a bit of a festival as there were all sorts of apple products including jams and ciders and apple brandy. The apple we liked best was the Worcester, and we could buy a box of about a dozen fruit, wrapped in tissue paper to take home, which is what we did. In those days we lived in Lancashire and travelled home with this box of apples… and by the time we actually got home there were only  a few left! They were so crisp and sweet and sharp and full of flavour! A coupe of weeks later we were back again, and the garden centre still had a few boxes of apples, so we bought a couple – or maybe three or four. we took them home and the apples kept so well, and remained in good condition that we were able to enjoy all of them over the  next couple of months. The following year, there was the promotion or festival, and once again we bought several boxes of Worcesters.

When we actually moved here and had a garden which could accommodate an apple tree, we bought one, a Worcester of course. For the next few years it,being only a small tree, only produced a few apples and they weren’t very flavoursome, but the tree was immature. Over the years it began to produce more and more, and we have had a great harvest… the only problem is, they don’t taste of very much – clean, white, crisp flesh, a bit sour and a lot tasteless.

While the children were living at home I would make puddings and pies and cakes… but even the children aren’t great dessert eaters so I didn’t ever manage to use all the apples we had. I tried to make apple wine… even less successful than my quince wine… I cooked them and froze them so I could use them over the winter… but really we don’t eat a lot of stewed apple. I have a humidifier to dry and preserve fruit and herbs etc… I dried lots of apple rings… but we don’t really eat them… I still have some left over in perfect condition in a box in the cupboard.

So come September, what can I do with the apples? No one wants any as most people round here also have fruit trees! I have a feeling the trees days might be numbered…



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