|Jerry under the apple tree|
Unfortunately, it's not a great keeper thanks to the birds and insects that constantly attack the fruit. No sprays, of course - even if we wanted to spray, the tree is next to the millstream and sprays are banned close to a watercourse (not that it stops the farmers mutter mutter....)
Last year, the year of no fruit, it bore nothing at all because an ill-timed frost wiped out the flowers here and in almost every orchard in the district. The tree is making up for it this year - the fruit are not overly numerous but they are extremely large, some specimens weighing over 350 grammes. Let's say 200 apples at 250 grammes apiece, about 50 kilos, that's a lot of compote. So far, only those apples receiving direct sunlight are ready to pick. One low-hanging fruit, sheltered by leaves and branches, is my barometer. I keep giving it the twist and flip treatment but it's holding on tight at the moment.
So far I have made and bottled mincemeat, three flavours of compote (plain, with grapefruit marmalade, and with honey), made cake, baked apples, eaten the things raw, grated with cereal, in slaw... Can't even give them away as everyone with an apple tree is doing the same. People seeing you approaching with a bag of apples tend to turn smartish in the opposite direction, or pretend not to be at home. One approach is to hang the bag from a door handle (house or car) and run for it. Could just work... bother, they spotted me!