Apple Wine by Pascale R

The old saying goes: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Here in Manitoba, there may not be many lemons. Come September and October, however,  there is bound to be an abundance of apples, which means it is time to start making apple wine.

What is Apple Wine?

Apple wine is traditionally a German specialty and typically has an alcohol content of 4.8 to 7 per cent. Since its discovery in the 16th century, apple wine has gained in popularity due to its simple production and the wide range of flavours—from sour to sweet—that can be produced.

Nanking Cherries are Here!

IMG_2459We’re nearing the end of July, which can mean only one thing… the nanking cherries have arrived! These delicious berries are often overlooked, but are excellent urban fruit for jellies, juice, syrups, and more. If you were following Getty’s advice this spring, you will have taken note of all the trees with the cute pink blossoms (http://www.fruitshare.ca/2012/04/sakura-cherry-blossom/), go back to those spots now and you’ll likely find oodles of 1/2 inch berries.

If you’ve never picked nanking cherries before, you’re in for a treat. They are edible straight off the tree (watch out for the pit!) and quick to pick (because the branches are often loaded). My harvest this year was mixed with vodka and sugar, in the hopes that it will become a delicious cherry liqueur by christmas time!

Apple Sauce and Apple Juice

Peeling and coring apples, whether they’re crabapples or the larger applecrabs, is tedious and time consuming.   Luckily, making apple sauce and apple juice don’t require those steps.

Basic Apple Sauce Recipe
Start with this basic recipe.  After you have the basic sauce, you can add whatever flavours (sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, honey, etc.) that you prefer.  You can also use it in other recipes or freeze it for future use.
Ingredients
Apples
Water

This recipe works for whatever quantity of apples you have.

Preparation
Wash apples and remove any leaves.
Quarter apples.
Place 1 inch of water in a large pot.
Add apples to the pot. Cover.
Bring to boil.
Turn heat to low and let apples simmer until they are soft and mushy (30 – 60 minutes).
Stir every 10 minutes and add more water if mixture is too thick or dry (consistency will vary depending on type of apple).
Take off heat.
Separate cores, peels, and stems from the sauce with a food mill or by squishing the mix through a strainer.
Enjoy your applesauce!

Basic Apple Juice Recipe
The juice from this recipe is cooked and ends up thick and opaque.  We like to dillute it with sparkling water or club soda for a refreshing drink on a hot summer day.  The kids prefer mixing it with Sprite for added sweetness.  



Ingredients

Apples
Water

This recipe works for whatever quantity of apples you have.

Preparation (similar to apple sauce recipe above)
Wash apples and remove any leaves.
Quarter apples.
Place 1 inch of water in a large pot.
Add apples to the pot. Cover.
Bring to boil.
Turn heat to low and let apples simmer until they are soft and mushy (30 – 60 minutes).
Stir every 10 minutes and add more water if mixture is too thick or dry (consistency will vary depending on type of apple).
Take off heat.
Separate all the pulp from the juice by placing the whole mixture into a cheesecloth or super fine strainer like the one pictured (Lee Valle fruit strainer).  
Allow to drip for 4 hours.  
Enjoy your juice!
This juice can also be used for making apple jelly. 

Rustic Rhubarb Tart Recipe

Two volunteers collected from two more fruit donors this week.  Sounds like they harvested another 5 pounds to share between themselves and the tenants of Fred Tipping Place.


Aleta, one of those volunteers says:

“I made a great (and yummy) Rhubarb Tart with some of the rhubarb we collected last week,and then I chopped & froze about 8 more cups for future use. 

Here’s the Recipe for the Tart.  I swear by Canadian Living Recipes!!”

Rustic Rhubarb Tart
By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

This recipe makes 12 servings (This recipe can be changed to serve less by going to the website recipe @ http://www.canadianliving.com/food/rustic_rhubarb_tart.php

Ingredients
6 cups (1.5 L) chopped rhubarb
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
1/4 cup (50 mL) coarsely chopped pecans
1 tbsp (15 mL) milk
Icing sugar

Pastry:
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1-1/2 cup (375 mL) cold butter
2/3 cup (150 mL) cold water

Preparation:
Pastry: In bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until in fine crumbs. Add water; stir with fork just until moistened. Transfer to work surface and press pastry together; knead lightly 5 or 6 times just until dough forms ball. Flatten slightly into disc; wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into 16-inch (40 cm.) circle, leaving edges rough. Transfer to 12-inch (30 cm) pizza pan, letting pastry hang over edge.
In bowl, toss together rhubarb, sugar, flour and nutmeg. Arrange over pastry; sprinkle with pecans. Fold pastry overhang over filling. Brush pastry with milk. Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F (190°C); bake for 35 to 40 minutes longer or until rhubarb is tender and pastry golden. Let cool on rack; dust with icing sugar.

Have a great day!

Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars


Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

(Adapted from Land O Lakes)

Ingredients:

Filling
3 cups 1/2″ chopped fresh rhubarb
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup salted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Drizzle
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Preparation:

Filling
In a medium saucepan, stir together rhubarb, and lemon juice. Place over medium heat – cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until fruit is tender, about 8-12 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Stir into fruit mixture. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Continue boiling until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

Rhubarb Parfait Recipe

We had these rhubarb parfaits for breakfast this morning.  Once the kids saw the fancy glasses, they couldn’t wait to dig in.  And even once they discovered it was plain yogurt with lightly sweetened stewed rhubarb, they finished the whole thing (we did add more granola to take away some of the tartness).
Thanks to Kelly for the great idea!  It really is quite simple.  A layer of stewed rhubarb, yogurt, stewed rhubarb and granola. The sugar content is completely up to you.  I like to get away with as little sugar as possible, but if you prefer, you can add more sugar to the stewed rhubarb and use sweetened yogurt.  In fact, you could even use ice cream or sweetened whip cream to turn this into a delicious dessert.
Simple Stewed Rhubarb Recipe
6 cups of diced rhubarb
1/4 cup of water (just to cover the bottom of the pot)
1/4 cup of sugar (adjust to suit your preference)

Toss all ingredients into a pot and cook until soft and tender.
Of course there are a lot of variations to the simple stewed rhubarb.  You could…
  • add spices like ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg

Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Thanks to Sherilyn for sharing one of her favourite rhubarb recipes.


1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups rhubarb (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)


Topping:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light cream (whipping cream makes it better…seriously, this is already not a healthy choice, so go for it!)
1 tsp vanilla


Cream together butter, brown sugar and egg until light and fluffy. Combine flours, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, mixing well after each addition. Stir in rhubarb and nuts. Spoon into a well greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 – 40 minutes.


To make topping, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat until butter melts…and it’s a nice creamy texture. Pour warm sauce over slightly cooled cake.

Rhubarb Slush Recipe




Here’s a rhubarb slush from a Professional Home Economist, so you know it’s going to be good!

Rhubarb Slush

8 cups diced rhubarb
2 1/2 – 3 cups sugar
8 cups water
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 4oz package of strawberry jello
7-Up

Place first four ingredients in a large saucepan.  
Boil for 10-15 minutes. 
Strain and discard pulp. 
Add 1 ( 4oz ) strawberry jello. 
Freeze in an ice cream pail, or margarine containers.
Remove from freezer one hour before serving. 
Add 7-Up (approx equal parts slush and 7 Up).

Enjoy on a hot sunny day.

Thanks Karla for sharing this recipe.