Posts Tagged apples

Perry’s Cider Mill

Today Neil and I took his sister Carole for lunch at Perry’s Cider Mill in Dowlish Wake, close to Ilminster. We drove along pretty and narrow country lanes into the village, past the Dower House and turned into Perry’s Cider Mill, where we had a most convivial meal with good service and excellent food.

DSC01557We wandered around the shop, sampling different ciders and admiring all the delicious looking groceries before making our way to the museum to see how apples were pressed in days gone by.

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There was an old plough and many pictures of farm labourers from the past.

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An old apple cruncher reminded us of more modern ones we use in our apple pressing.

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I loved the old carts

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and the old bellows

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And then alongside, a piece of modern machinery.  They still do apple pressing and cider making and bottling here.

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If you want to visit Perry’s cider mill, and stay with our B&B then visit us at

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

 

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Apple pressing in the Blackdown Hills

We have been to two apple pressing events this October, one in Buckland St Mary earlier in the month, and then another one at Stentwood the weekend just gone.  These are community events organised by the Blackdown Hills Transition Group of which we are members.

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Basically we invite anybody to bring their apples along and use the equipment to turn them into apple juice.

Firstly you have to tip apples into the crusher. We used a mixture of both eating apples and cooking apples.

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This breaks the apples down into pulp that can go into the presses.

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The apple pulp is then transferred into a linen bag and put into a press.  Gradually turning the handle round presses down on the pulp and the juice is then collected below.

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The juice turns brown as the apples oxidise.  The next process is to bottle it up.  We use a jug and a funnel to transfer the juice into bottles. If the apple juice is put into plastic bottles it can be frozen to keep it fresh, otherwise it will start to ferment after 3 or 4 days. If the juice is bottled in glass bottles it can be pasteurised for 35 minutes at 75 degrees C and this will keep it to up to a year.

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Bottling up

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Apple pressing in Buckland St Mary

On Sunday the Blackdown Hills Transition Group held their apple pressing day at Buckland Village Hall and car park.  A large gazebo was set up, under which the apple presses were placed on tables.

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The apply pulper was plugged into the village hall electricity supply.DSC00554Quite a few people came bearing their apples, both cooking and eating apples and  pressed them into juice.  Neil was busy operating one of the presses.

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The juice that comes out is brown in colour as the apples oxidise.

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When the juice is squeezed into a bucket it then is poured into bottles for keeping.  If you fill plastic bottles you can freeze the apple juice as it doesn’t last more than a few days in the fridge before it starts to ferment.  If you fill glass bottles you need to pasteurise the juice by placing the glass bottles in boiling water for half an hour.DSC00557We had a couple of musicians who played guitar and sang, so there was a really nice ambience to the afternoon. The community from Stentwood (who bake The Common Loaf) were providing refreshments and lovely nibbles and cakes to eat.

There is another apple pressing event to take place at Stentwood, Dunkerswell, EX14 4RW on Sat 25 and Sun 26th October from 11am to 5pm.  So if you want lovely fresh apple juice from you apples come along.

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Blackdown Hills Transition Group Apple Day

The first of 3 Apple Days was held today at Otterhead Lodge, by Otterhead Lakes.  We were so lucky with the weather, it was the most glorious sunny day, in marked contrast to earlier in the week when it rained like no tomorrow.

People brought along their apples to be crushed and pressed into juice.  The first stage is to feed the apples into a crusher which produces apple pulp.

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The pulp is then put into an apple press which produces the juice. It’s inevitable that you get sticky in the process but who minds when you are producing lovely fresh apple juice.

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The next stage is bottling the juice.  Unfortunately the apples oxidise very quickly and turn brown so the resulting juice is brown in colour but it tastes really lovely.

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Also today we had some musical entertainment from “Slapjack” a duet of guitar and violin.  They played beautifully and were a lovely sound in the background.

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There was delicious apple cake and other goodies on sale, together with hot mulled apple juice, tea and coffee etc.  As it was such a nice afternoon lots of people turned out and many brought bins full of apples to press.  If you bottle into plastic bottles you can freeze the juice, or if you prefer you can bottle into glass bottles and then pasteurise it by heating it up.

We just had some Bramley Apples to take along, but they make a lovely tart juice.  So now we have to work out how to fit some of the bottles into the freezer, which is already full of stewed fruit from the garden!!.

We still have some vacancies in the B&B in October so contact us for more details.

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Something else to do with Blackberries and Apples

The Blackberries are at last coming to an end.  I seem to have been picking them for 2 months now, not that I am complaining.  I have made Blackberry jam, and Blackberry and Apple crumbles, and we’ve eaten them raw with raspberries, cream and meringues.  We still have the cooking apples at the top of the tree that we can’t reach and are waiting for them to fall, so I thought what else can I do with Blackberries and Apples?

Blackberries in our garden

So I have made “Squidgy Spiced Apple and Blackberry Cake”!! – Delicious

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

125g butter or spread

225g dark Muscovado sugar (or I have used half light muscovado and half dark)

2 eggs

225g plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

150g blackberries, washed and dried

150g or cooking apples, peeled, cored and cut up really small

Method:

Heat the oven to 160 degrees C or gas mark 3.  Cream the butter and sugar with an electric food mixer, then mix in the eggs.  Mix in the flour, baking powder and spices. Then fold in the apple and blackberries.

Pour into a buttered, base lined 8 inch cake tin and bake for one hour or until a knife comes our cleanly.  Leave for 10 minutes, then remove from the cake tin.

Can be served with cream or ice cream, or just eaten with a cup of tea.

This is a moist cake that will keep in a cake tin for 3-4 days if wrapped in foil.

Guests to our B&B may get the opportunity to try out my Squidgy spiced apple and blackberry cake.  visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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