As part of our orchard restoration project we are exploring ways of using the fruit. Today we have been picking crab apples to use in the Victorian Kitchen to make Crab Apple Jelly.
There are four crab apple trees in the Orchard. They are a traditional variety not Veitch’s Scarlet as originally thought but another ornamental variety called Adenhamensis. This new ID comes from our Orchard expert Marcus Roberts who has just completed work re-identifying our old fruit trees.
The apples were not only used for making jelly but might also have been used for cider and eaten in their own right as part of a meal providing a particularity intense flavour. The trees in our orchard are thought to date back to late Victorian times.
The Crab Apple Jelly is being made in our working Victorian kitchen which is run by volunteers. The apples are first boiled up over the open fire on the traditional range and then strained and mixed with sugar before being placed in jars.
Our Orchard restoration is an ongoing project, so far we have planted over 20 heritage fruit trees and replaced tree guards around the old trees to protect them from our deer. We are hoping to start restoration pruning of the trees this winter.