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.