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There is only so much you can do with apples. After you have made all the apple jelly, tarts, crumble, chutney any person can cope with and given away bags and bags to friends and family what do you do with them all?

It is an eternal question we have in Annesbrook, we are fortunate to have an abundance of apples every autumn and finding ways to use them all up and not go to waste is a constant dilemma.

Our latest scheme to use as much of them as possible is to juice them. A little over two years ago we got a cider press and we have been experimenting with making cider.  After ironing out some beginner issues, we hope to have some lovely cider for the summer.

Last weekend we managed to press enough apples to make over 60 liters (16 gallons).  That was about half eating apple juice and half cooking apple juice. In order to make the hard stuff you have to get a good mix so that you have a hard cider that is not to sweet and not to dry. It has been blended to get the right balance and happily the fermentation process is under way.

For the straight apple juice or regular cider it is the eating apples you want. Tastes great but does not look the most attractive. It is all brown and cloudy, not like the pasteurized shop variety. Pasteurization is something we might do in the future, it would be interesting to experiment… Luckily apple juice freezes really well so we can have some all year around.

we will keep you posted on the cider’s progress.

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