Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Pomaceous Wonder

My guess is that the apple in the garden of Eden was an Heirloom variety.

In the story of Adam and Eve, the apple was a symbol for knowledge, immortality, and temptation. For me, much of that holds true. I am always allured by the gorgeous unknown apple. Forget Macintosh, Jonathan, Granny Smith, or the Red Delicious. They're fine but aren't interesting. I'm more inclined to taste, observe the texture and smell the brilliance of a Roxbury Russett, Arkansas Black, or a Winesap. 

This past Sunday, I spent time working with the mysteries of heirloom apples. I love exploring the Pomaceous part of the apple tree for many reasons: it’s high in pectin so most successful cooking will result in a crystal clear, beautiful jell set, plus there’s very little waste. With a large batch of apples, you can whip up three types of uncomplicated preserved foods in little time: apple jelly, apple syrup, and with the pulp, a tasty batch of like-my-mother-used-to-make applesauce. I also like apple season because there are so many wonderful, not-found-in-the-supermarket varieties to choose from, such as Ashmead’s Kernel, Elstar, Liberty, and Sierra Beauty apples. Those are the apples I used Sunday, all of which were purchased from Windrose Farm in California’s central coast.

As I was about to venture on to my next task – applesauce -- I decided to take stock of my apple jelly. It was near perfect. A batch I made a month earlier with Heirloom Sebastopol Gravenstein apples was a bit richer in color and prettier, but this group has a much more delicate flavor. And as regular readers of this blog know, I never use pectin in any of my jams and preserves.

So as I embark on my next cooking endeavor, anybody care for some pancakes with apple syrup? You’ll never be tempted to use maple syrup again.

Beginning this month, you'll find some of my favorite batches of Joe's Jams, Jellies, and More for sale on my etsy site at http://www.etsy.com/shop/mothercluck. 

Speaking from experience, they make wonderful gifts!


  1. Yeah, you! And the Etsy shop. :)

  2. Hooray for heirloom apples! I'm a fan too. In my little orchard, I have four: Golden Russet, Lady Williams, Wickson, and Winter White Pearmain (the oldest apple in continuous cultivation). Golden Russet and Wickson, both two year old trees, both fruited for the first time for me this year, and oh my--so good!

    That apple jelly is just gorgeous!


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