Apples, part 3

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Let's wrap up the apple postings. We have two types of apples left. Juice- and wax apples.

Lets start with the Juice-apples. In our orchard we have both red and green juice apples. When you microwave them they behave similar to compote-apples, though you feel the difference when you eat them. They are so moist so they drip when you cut into them. In our orchard the juice-apples mature late September, early October. Even when they are ripe they stay on the tree, much longer than other apples.

If you cook them they behave similar to compote-apples, though they become apples pieces in sauce. Very delicious, but not at all fun if you expect apple jam. What makes these apples so special are their ability to make a clear, golden, sweet, beautiful apple juice, in large quantities. You can use a normal juicer, just cut them into pieces.

We mince them in a large grinder, than press them in something that looks like a small wine press. 75-80 % of it’s weight becomes juice, I quickly heat up the juice to get rid of all bacteria and bottles it. The juice last at least a year with no problem. 

Let me revise that, the juice don't last that long, it has a tendency to quickly disappear; almost vaporize. If, by a small miracle, a bottle will survive a year, the juice is still as fresh as the day I bottled it.

I never add sugar to these apples and the juice is completely clear with no residues at the bottom of the bottle.

The first year in the orchard I made the big mistake of juicing the puree-apples. That was interesting. For me apple juice should be a clear liquid, but what I had in that bottle where far from clear. Eventually all the apple residue settled down and almost half the bottle became drinkable. Not one of my best moments. So never juice puree-apples.

If you add gelatin to the apple juice you get a great, natural flavored jelly.

You can also make vinegar on the apple juice, let me come back to that in another post.

The last apple type are the winter apples or Wax-apples as we call them; because of their waxy skin.

These apples mature late October, sometimes even in November. They are probably one of the most versatile apples we have in the orchard. You can’t pure them, but they work great both in jam, pies and other foods.

Wax-apples have a thick skin, coated with a layer of wax. As long as the skin is intact, no scratches, marks or blemishes; the apple can be preserved for up to six month.

When I pick these apples, I sort them into two qualities. The ones that are perfect goes into the basement and we eat them all through out the winter. The other group becomes jam and I also cut them into wedges and freeze them fresh. Wax apples are actually freezable, just let them thaw slowly in the fridge.

There are different ways to store wax-apples, but this is how I do it.

First I polish them with a soft cloth, so they are shiny. This way it’s much easier to see if the wax coat is intact, it’s the wax that preserves the apple and even if it’s slightly damaged; it will spoil the apple. Unfortunately one spoiled apple can spoil the entire batch. 

After I polished them, I wrap each apple in paper. Newspaper works fine, you just have to rinse them before you eat them. Then I stack all apples in wooden crates and store them in our basement pantry, where it’s cold and dark. My grandma used to add sand to the box, but I don’t think it makes such a big difference. It’s much more messy though.

We usually start eating the apples at Christmas and continues through out April. Now and then I go through the boxes, removing apples that looks bad. If one spoils; it takes less than a week to spread through out the box.

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