Thursday, 23 September 2010

Uffington crab

Coming home from Richard's, I took my latest favourite road, between Wantage and Swindon along the foot of the Downs. Approaching Uffington, there was a row of crab apple trees, laden with fruit. So I stopped and picked a great pile of them, because the combination of crab apples and location was pretty irresistible.

I couldn't find my jelly bag anywhere, so I popped into Kitchens, our local cooking-stuff-shop, and they had a really nice-looking strainer there, and it cost ten pounds fifty. Ten pounds fifty!.... so I got a cotton pillowcase from the charity shop next door, and washed it and used it instead.

I ended up with four and a half pints of liquid, and added sugar and mace and cloves, and boiled for ages.

I started to think that the thermometer was broken, because it went up to 100C and stayed there. But then I remembered that this is what happens when you boil liquids, and what I was watching was the result of the latent heat of vapourisation...

....that was a memorable lesson in the school physics lab, when I got a steam generator boiling furiously over a Bunsen burner and then the teacher noticed that I hadn't added a safety valve, and he evacuated the lab and then sent me back in to defuse the apparatus....

Anyway, it turned out lovely! -just had some on my breakfast toast. Apple-y and spicy.

Happy equinox!