All posts tagged: apples

A food blogger in Suffolk took a fantastic selection of photographs over the weekend, it captures the essence of what makes cider making and the traditional process of pressing apples so special.

A perfectly timed break in the wet weather cleared the way for a wonderful Saturday gathering apples from a favourite orchard in Suffolk.

Adding apples to the scratter. A mechanical set of teeth that creates a pulp of the apples. © Eat Pictures Food Photography 2010

The apple pulp is then added to the apple press to make juice. © Eat Pictures Food Photography 2010

The photos show the typical process in traditional juicing of apples, to make cider, or in this case just apple juice which is just as magical as it gets:

Can’t even begin to tell you how sweet, perfumed, fresh and alive this stuff tastes.

View the full set of photos at eatpictures

Ask a fruit or cider producer how they deal with attack from pests and diseases on their fruit, and you would like to hear something along the lines of Somerset Cider Brandy’s response:

Our policy of growing apples is to use the minimum of sprays possible, often not spraying at all. We use no artificial nitrogen, which means we produce smaller and tastier apples than those grown in orchards for industrial cider. In fermenting and making cider we use traditional methods, fermenting juice in the autumn without first turning it into concentrate.

“Our policy of growing apples is to use the minimum of sprays possible, often not spraying at all. We use no artificial nitrogen, which means we produce smaller and tastier apples than those grown in orchards for industrial cider. In fermenting and making cider we use traditional methods, fermenting juice in the autumn without first turning it into concentrate”.

This is also the case over in stateside orchards like Farnum Hill in New Hampshire. Where the colder winters deal with any pests.

Somerset Cider Brandy is part of the Slow Food Movement, in our view this is more relevant to our artisan production than the current organic system, which did a grand job in the 80’s but has not evolved to meet new challenges. Currently, ‘organic’ often means huge businesses supplying the supermarkets or goods imported by airplane from the other side of the planet at a vast carbon cost.

The Slow Food Movement has grown from its Italian roots and promotes good local products and proven safe methods of artisan production. Today, Slow Food  has over 100,000 members in 132 countries.

Three counties perry and Somerset Cider Brandy were declared part of the Ark of Taste project. Which was launched in Turin in 1996 to catalogue, describe and draw public attention to food products from around the world that have real productive and commercial potential and are closely linked to specific communities and cultures – but are, alas, at risk of extinction.

So from what you can see a caring and ecologically minded cider producer is both thinking organically and embracing the slow food thinking.

Yet today, the Soil Association are the face of organic producers in the UK, visible in practically every supermarket across the country. Supporting organic principles is as easy as buying products with the Soil Association organic logo.

Why is slow food not more recognised in the UK? There is no Slow Food logo to put on foods or in shops, they are not a certifying body and have no plans to become one. A big area of discussion is how Slow Food, home to the artisanal producer, can ever work with supermarkets.

Learn more at Slow Food UK and find a local group near you to get involved!

Braeburn apples are a refreshing combination of sharp and sweet. To get the most out of their full flavour we suggest serving them as a desert.

Ingredients

  • 80g dried mixed exotic fruit
  • 55ml brandy
  • 30g light brown sugar
  • 1/2tsp mixed spice
  • 100g butter
  • 6 braeburn apples – cored
  • 200g greek yoghurt – to serve

Method

  1. Heat oven to 2150’c. Place the exotic fruit and brandy in a bowl and leave to soak overnight. After soaking add sugar, spices and butter
  2. Spoon the fruit mixture into the holes of the cored apples, pressing in to fill well, spread some more butter over the apples.
  3. Place the stuffed apples into an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake for 40 mins in over. Remove the foil and bake for 15 mins further, until the apples are soft, but not collapsing.
  4. Place onto place and serve with yoghurt.

Serves 6

UK apple orchards have been in decline since the 1980s, with Britain losing nearly two thirds of its commercial and private orchards in the last three decades.

With the market dominated by cheap imported fruit, a narrower choice of varieties have been available. Smaller orchards have been replaced by housing and business developments. But in Scotland, apple enthusiasts are working to create a more ‘fruitful’ countryside.

Dougie Vipond finds out how apple enthusiasts are ensuring the future of Scottish orchards, in an item broadcast on the BBC Landward radio programme in October 2009.

View the Video on the BBC.

A top ten of apples!

Orange Pippin have listed the 10 most popular apple varieties pages voted by their community.

If you want to know what apples are the most popular or to discover what make each apple unique then this news article is for you.

To learn more, click on the individual links for each apple, which takes you to a full description for the apple.

  1. Photo of Cox's Orange Pippin Cox’s Orange Pippin apple

    Is this the best-flavored dessert apple ever – probably.

  2. Photo of Pink Lady Pink Lady apple

    One of the best-known modern apple varieties – and one of the most popular pages on this website.

  3. Photo of Granny Smith Granny Smith apple

    The most instantly-recognised of all apples, and perhaps Australia’s most famous export.

  4. Photo of Blenheim Orange Blenheim Orange apple

    An 18th century English dual-purpose apple which remains very popular as a garden variety.

  5. Photo of Egremont Russet Egremont Russet apple

    The definitive English russet apple.

  6. Photo of Arkansas Black Arkansas Black apple

    A long-keeping tart apple from Arkansas, USA – which goes almost black in storage.

  7. Photo of Fuji Fuji apple

    A very attractive modern apple, crisp, sweet-flavoured, and keeps well.

  8. Photo of Crispin (Mutsu) Crispin (Mutsu) apple

    A versatile dual-purpose apple, sharp but still pleasant to eat fresh.

  9. Photo of SpartanSpartan apple

    Attractive, crunchy, sweet, easy to grow, and with the characteristic delicate wine-like “vinous” flavor of the McIntosh family of apples – but flavour fades rapidly in storage so definitely best eaten straight from the tree.

  10. Photo of Jonagold Jonagold apple

    Very popular commercial variety

Link to original articleThe top 10 apples at Orange Pippin