Mulled Apple Juice

IMG_0613Hot mulled apple juice is a delicious non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine and equally warm and comforting on a cold autumnal night.  At Orchard Origins we have been working on creating an apple juice blend that will be perfect for mulling. It will go on sale in December in time for the festive season. To create our Dormington Blend we set up the portable apple press in the orchard and took samples of juice from different apple varieties.  Continue reading

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A Pear With A Past

The cows will be returning to the orchard at Lower House Farm in the next few days so harvesting the windfalls was a priority.  We picked eighteen crates of apples – Bramley’s Seedling, Adam’s Pearmain, Catsheads, Herefordshire Beefing and Hanwell’s Souring.

The pear trees – three magnificent Worcester Black Pears – have cropped particularly well this year. Many of the pears had already fallen to the ground and with some gentle coaxing we were able to dislodge the remainder. So, in addition to the apples, we filled another six crates with Black Pears.

The Black Pear is a very old cultivar that has had a long association with Worcestershire; three Black Pears make up part of the centrepiece of the City of Worcester’s coat of arms. Over the years the origins of Worcester Black Pear have aroused a great deal of debate, but with the help of new scientific methods the mystery may finally be solved. Continue reading

Apple Chutney

The Orchard Origins’ kitchen has been filled this week with the deliciously sweet/sharp, spicy aroma of apple chutney bubbling gently on the stove.  As the autumn nights start to draw in there is something very comforting about making chutney – the culinary equivalent of a warm hug.   Continue reading

What to do with Windfalls

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The high winds that battered the British Isles last week will have dislodged most of the apples that  were still lingering on the trees.  If you have had your fill of apple pie and crumble for the year; your cupboards are groaning with jars of home-made chutney; and your friends and neighbours are politely turning down your offers of free apples you may be wondering what to do with this latest haul of windfalls.

Dried apples are a good way to use up excess apples and are easy to produce. They make a great snack for children as well as adults and work well with any variety of apple.  At Orchard Origins we use a food dehydrator to make them but a domestic oven works just as well.  Continue reading

Plum and Almond Cake

IMG_0354Strange but true, it never seems to rain when we are working in the orchards. Our secret to defying the rain god?  The presence of Laurence, the project manager. 

Last Friday was no exception. Despite dire warnings of downpours over Herefordshire, the rain clouds made a detour and skirted round the soft fruit orchards at the Houghton project where we were picking Victoria plums. Continue reading