Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fruits 'A Plenty



I've got a fruit tree crush. All I think about lately are fig, plum, apricot, peach, nectarine, apple, pear, and whatever other tree I might be able to grow out here. To that end, we have a modicum of progress this season.  The pear and apple trees planted by the previous owners have offered up a nice little bounty. Actually, it's the first time since I moved out here in March '07 that the pear tree has produced any fruit at all. The apple trees are considerably more scanty this year than last, though. Still, I'm pretty thrilled. I've got big plans for cooking up a whole mess of applesauce, apple butter, dried fruit rings, crisps, and pear brandy. Any other suggestions? 
*Don't even get me started on my nut tree crush. Or my bramble and fruiting bushes crush. All of my crushes are edible, it would seem! 

9 comments:

Paige Appel said...

crush crush crush. i'm so wishing i was on the east coast right now.

Linda said...

This year I, too have a crush on fruit trees, bushes and vines. My problem is that I don't have that many trees. I only have one peach tree that was loaded with peaches (it's a very small tree so it was as loaded as it could be). I also have a few chestnut trees which are not very big and some wild grape vines.

It was great to harvest my peaches and eat them fresh from the tree until the deer got to them one night and took most of them. Oh well, they need to eat too.

Last week, my daughters and I harvested some wild grapes. I made jam yesterday. I only got 5 pints but I am just thrilled with them!

Anonymous said...

Looks wonderful! Nothing better than fruit right off the tree.

The Dudleys - Craig & Lane said...

thirty years ago i came into possession of an abandoned orchard. my apples looked like yours and were small. after judicious pruning over three years, and removing all of the deadfall through grazing with sheep, the apples got much better in size and quality with no use of any kind of spray or any other chemicals.

El Gaucho said...

I've always maintained that the uglier the fruit, the better they taste. Don't worry about your fruit crush, it's perfectly normal, others have the same feelings.

ashley english said...

Thanks for the tip, Lane. Yeah, the apples trees are definitely due for a good pruning. I just need to take a class or read up on how to do it!

Lindsay Road said...

What in the world is pear brandy, and how do you make it? We've been trying to figure out what to do with our pears...

Jennifer said...

I've got a bunch of ugly pears from a neighbor's untended tree. they are kind of hard, skins are lumpy, bumpy. What's the best way to ripen them? Got any good recipes for pears?

ashley english said...

Lindsay Road-Pear brandy, or any fruit brandy for that matter, is simply homemade brandy with pears as the base flavor. I wish I could give you my recipe, but, alas, the method I employ is a carefully guarded friend's family recipe. I've been sworn to secrecy. However, if you want a quick fix, just google "homemade pear brandy." The recipes won't tell you how to make brandy itself, but will tell you how to fashion a pear brandy using commercially prepared liquor and fresh fruit.
Jennifer-In addition to pear brandy, you could can pears whole, with fresh herbs and/or spices, make a chutney or butter from them, render them into a delectable cardamom or vanilla crisp, or dehydrate slices to tuck into gingerbread on cold winter days. If you want to store them whole, go to your local grocer and ask for a produce box with a lid. Line it with a plastic bag, put in about 3 inches of sawdust, place pears in a layer (without letting them touch one another), cover with sawdust, and repeat until you've used up all the pears you've got on hand. Cinch the plastic bag at the top, twist it down into the box, place the lid on, and keep in a cool, dry location, such as a root cellar or garage (or any other building that will stay cool but won't freeze). Hope this helps!