For Apple Day

I love the results from my juicer - freshly pressed apple juice

It's Apple Day tomorrow and what a bumper crop we have chez VP Gardens and on the allotment this year. Today's post comes as a slightly premature celebration as we have family matters to attend to over the weekend.

We enjoy fruit juice as a weekly treat on Sundays with our roast dinner, so it was a natural step to invest in a juicer. I swithered between this and an apple press, and in the end I plumped for a juicer as it's cheaper and fulfils our immediate needs. I did have a daydream about pressing oodles of juice for a full year's supply, but practical matters such as pasteurisation and storage swiftly brought me back to reality.

I'm enjoying the process immensely and it's a great way of using up loads of apples, especially any windfalls where only the damaged or bruised bits should be left out. It takes around 12 of them to produce enough juice to fill 2 glasses. Our season started off last month with single variety 'Scrumptious' and I'm currently experimenting with a blend of 'Red Windsor' and 'Egremont Russet'. I've found the latter is a bit dry to juice on its own and its nuttiness balances the sweetness of the other fruit.

Most guidance says to add some lemon juice to prevent browning; I've found I can get away without doing so as long as the juice is stored in the fridge immediately and we drink it within an hour.

As you can see from the above photo, there's quite a lot of apple pulp left over. I remove as much as I can from the juicer into a bowl and give it a quick 5 minute whizz in the microwave before cooling it and storing in the fridge. I'm adding a large spoonfull to my daily porridge where it works better than the chopped apple I've used in previous years.

It's a good combination with natural yoghurt too and the Vegetarian Times has lots of  other suggestions for delicious ways to use the pulp. I'm going to try it as a variation in my Windfall Cake recipe. I'm also tempted to try Carl Legge's recipe for cider vinegar as a way of using up some of my whole apples without resorting to lots of sugary treats.

How's your apple harvest this year? Do you have a favourite apple recipe or way with them?

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The great thing about Apple Day is it deepens our connection with the turning year and seasonal produce. Lia Leendertz has written a year long celebration of such things in her Almanac. Beautifully illustrated by Emma Dibben, it's a gentle guide to 2018; stuffed with lots of goodies such as gardening tips, recipes, phases of the moon, seasonal festivities, and weather lore.

I have to declare an interest here as I helped crowdfund the book. Unlike some of my other ventures down this avenue, this one doesn't disappoint.


  1. We have had a good apple and pear harvest too.

    1. If anything the pears are even more prolific than the apples this year! We had fantastically warm, sunny days when they were in blossom and we must have had nearly 100% pollination :)

  2. We've had a good apple harvest too- we preserve ours in various ways- juice, puree, cider- and this year we've had enough decent apples to attempt storing them whole in trays.

    When we press for cider (we make it with a group of friends) we freeze some in plastic bottles where it tastes almost as good as just-pressed and three families clubbed together to buy a pasteuriser. We haven't managed to do enough for year-long storage yet, but we're working on it.

    We've also decided that the big apple tree in our garden has got to go. It's a lovely tree but the apples are, frankly, awful. Mealy, poorly-flavoured and marked. We took some to be identified once and the Orchard Manager just said to chop it down and plant a decent apple! We resisted but it's taking up a lot of room so I'm investigating grafting so we can perhaps still keep some of it's 'presence'.

    1. I would love to freeze the juice but sadly we only have a small freezer. I see you're in Oxfordshire Hazel - have you seen the multi-grafted tree at Waterperry Gardens? Dozens of varieties grafted onto a single tree. Worth a visit and discussing whether you could do something similar with your apple tree?

  3. How marvellous to have enough home grown apples to merit a juicer. We're celebrating Apple Day with two newly bought trees for our Pudding Mill allotment. We will be waiting for Brian to pass through before they go in though. And maybe there will be apple cake too.

    1. I think Brian will bring down plenty of apples for me to juice tomorrow Colleen! It's taken a while to have enough apples for juicing, but I love it. Perhaps your new trees at Pudding Mill will do so for you in time. How marvellous to have new apple trees this year, so exciting. Which varieties have you gone for?

  4. Congratulations on your great harvest! In our tropical climate apple trees really struggle, but in the past we lived in Tasmania where apples were abundant and apple cider vinegar was so easy to make and had so many uses around the home, it was worth making it from pulp.

    1. Apples need a period of winter cold so I'm not surprised your trees are struggling Klara. Interesting you made cider vinegar from the pulp, I wonder if I can do that with mine after juicing?

  5. Mmmmm - I think that I may well investigate juicers VP :) It was a bumper apple crop here too this year and the freezer is full of stewed apples. I also helped to crowdfund Lia's book which is a little gem of a book full of information and ideas.

    1. I thought I saw your name there Anna! :) I think you joined in the musings I was having last year re Juicer vs Press if memory serves. No regrets re the juicer - another pressing takes place today!

    2. Also. freezing the pulp is less bulky than the chopped apples I've stewed and frozen previously. It means my stores for porridge will last well into next year :)


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