We have four apple trees in our orchard, two golden delicious and two which are so called “winter scone”, an old Hungarian variety which has a little bit flat shape and a sour taste. I get a lot of information on our fruit trees and orchard in general from our neighbor, Tibor who knows a lot about gardening. Golden is a variety which you cannot keep throughout winter, so you have to eat them first. We can keep the other red one in crates in the cellar and checking regularly and removing rotten ones will assure they keep until spring. Soon it will freeze during the night so we pick the golden delicious. It is windy, dark clouds cover the sky but we succeed to collect all of them before it starts raining. The “winter scone” has already a nice color but it will ripe completely by the end of October. I read about this variety and I learn that the later we pick them the tastier they will be. So we still have time.
Golden delicious apples are in crates waiting for family members and neighbors. I am sure I am going to bake a large amount of my favorite apple pie as well. But still, I want to try something new. My grandmother says that apple wine is really delicious so I decide to make a small portion of it, as a trial. It is really easy to prepare the only disadvantage is that we need to wait for 6 weeks to sip the first glass of it.
Meanwhile I take a notice of the rose hips in the woods every time we pass by a bush with my dog. I ask my grandmother, but she never used it, because she saw the hands of woman who made jam of it, full of wounds. She suggests drying them for tea, I only need to put them on a tray and let them dry.
The next night I cannot sleep- maybe to stressed because of the wine? – so I go through my old cookbooks reading recipes hoping I get sleepy. I pop into a rose hip wine recipe. Since I am already getting involved into this “wine-making business” I decide to give a try. The next day when we go for a walk, I start to collect the rose hips. Rosehip is really something you have to fight for: my hands are bleeding because its spikes, but I am able to collect enough to make a small portion.
If I could skip ahead in time I would write now that I am sitting next to our tile stove sipping apple and/or rose hip wine, but since I cannot (yet!) I am just taking care of two two jars and stir them once in a while. Do you feel like joining me and have a toast in a month when our wines are ready?
1000 g apples
1000 g sugar
5000 ml water
I prepared a half portion this time. Don’t peel apples but remove seeds because according to my grandmother seeds will make the wine taste bitter. Dice the apples and put them on the bottom of a big jar. Warm up the water a little bit to make easier to dissolve sugar. Pour the syrup over the apples, cover the jar with a piece of gauze and let it rest at room temperature for 8-10 days. I suggest you to put a plate under the jar to make sure that your wine doesn’t run out during the fermentation process. Apples go up to the surface so it is good to stir it once a day. After the main part of the fermentation process (8-10 days) pour the wine into bottles through a strainer and let it rest for another 4 weeks. After that, pour it again in new bottles while you try not to shake or pour over the lees at the bottom of the bottle. Close the bottles and keep them in a cool place.
Rose hip wine
1000 g rose hip
1000 g sugar
2500 ml water
I used a quarter kilo of rose hip this time but I promised myself to be more persistent in picking next time. Remove stems and ends. Warm up water, dissolve sugar and pour over the rose hip placed in a jar. Keep it 3-4 weeks at room temperature, stir it regularly then pour into bottles through a strainer, close the bottles and keep them in a cool place.