Preserved Apples for winter use should be preserved in October or November, and they will keep until June. This particular recipe is by Mrs Wilson of Auchenheath, Lanark, and in 1951 she wrote, “I know this is a nice preserve, as I have made it for 50 years, and I am now past my seventy-seventh birthday”. With recommendation like that, you know this preserve is going to be good.
Victorians often preserved fruit for use in winter, to use in fruit pies, or as a side dish to savoury cheese and bread etc. and these preserved apples have their own distinct taste and flavour – in this recipe the tartness of the lemon and ginger syrup they are preserved in is wonderful. They need very little cooking once the preserve is made, so they really are a speedy treat to put under a sugary pie crust. Making preserves is a ‘half-days job’, but you can make enough preserve to last you for months, all from local fruit picked for free.
Lanark Preserved Apples Recipe
- 3 kg Apples (Baldwins are recommended)
- 2 Large Lemons
- 2 whole ginger roots
- 2.5 kg of sugar
- 250ml boiling water
Pare (peel), core and quarter the apples. Into a large bowl place a layer of sugar in the bottom and then a layer of apples and so on until all are used. Put a plate on them to cover and stand them all night somewhere cool.
Pare (peel) the lemons and ginger and put the peel and ginger cut into small pieces into a small bowl and cover with one cup of boiling water and allow to infuse all night. Keep the lemons you peeled for use the next day in the fridge.
Next day strain the water in which the ginger and lemon peel was infused with into a bowl and reserve. Reserve the ginger pieces also, but discard the lemon peel.
Into a large jam pan or large heavy-based saucepan tip the sugar and apples which were left over night, add in the strained ginger and lemon peel water and then squeeze the lemon juice from the two lemons in. Bring it all to the boil slowly to let the sugar dissolve into the lemon juice and ginger water. Reduce the volume of the liquid at a rapid boil for about ten minutes. When this is nearly set add in the ginger pieces you cut up small and soaked over night, (make sure they are cut up fine before adding). Allow to cool for twenty minutes then place the preserved apples and syrup in sterilized jars and seal – use within four to six months.