Around this time last year we shared a post from our warden, Simon, about picking apples in our orchard and making crab apple jelly. What we didn’t do was share the recipe for how you can make it, so here you will find a recipe from Mrs Horton.
2kg (4lbs) crab apples, washed and halved
Boil the apples gently with 2:1 water until they turn to a pulp.
Cool somewhat and allow to drain through 2 layers of muslin (or cheesecloth will do)
Support the cloth in a sieve or colander.
For every litre of juice add 800g sugar (1lb per pint).
Boil down until the surface of a spoonful, cooled on a saucer, wrinkles when pushed.
Cover and cool for 15 – 20 minutes before pouring into warm jars.
Cover the jars with a circle of waxed paper and a lid – but don’t seal tightly until the jelly has cooled.
The last of the established fruit trees in the orchard had the tree guard fitted around it last week, finally completing this project, which now looks absolutely outstanding.
This tree guard was relatively easy to install around the tree with respect to missing the root growth, however, due to the shape of the main stem of the tree the guard had to be modified quite extensively by removing the top two ring members on just one of the sections of the tree guard!
We have been supported by funding from Copella and it is this has enabled much of the work to take place. You can find out more about Charlecote’s parkland by joining a park walk with one of our volunteers. We try to offer these most days that we’re open and they are free of charge.
Nick, Seasonal warden
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.
Nick picking apples!
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.
Over the last two weeks we have had some extra visitors in the park and garden helping us out.
The wonderful team from NFU Mutual have been back for the second year in a row to work with us. They have… cleared the old nursery, planted 11 new apple trees in the orchard, made Victorian tree labels, picked apples, finished the Majors House, dug a new wildlife pond and cleared the spinney.
They also very kindly donated 10 new fence panels, posts and a gate and they even put them up for us! We now have this lovely new clear area in the old nursery and we are thinking about getting a few pigs early next year to keep our bees company. Perhaps some Tamworth or Gloucester Old Spot Piglets at Charlecote 2013?