- Elizabeth Raffald, on Making ‘Green Caps’
Here’s an eighteenth century recipe for another baked apple dish, although perhaps this is one you shouldn’t try at home…
- Henry Howard, on Making ‘Black Caps’
A classic recipe from the archives today, for apples baked in wine and sugar, cooked in the oven until the tops are scorched.
- Georgiana Hill, on Pommes au Naturel
Nothing is more likely to encourage people to eat a lovely, fresh apple than bringing Satan into the conversation…
- Susannah Carter, on Making Flummery (two ways)
Here are two recipes, one using almonds, for a dish of cold, congealed. flavourless mush… I’m really selling it, aren’t I?
- Orchard Visit: Hidcote, Gloucestershire
A summer’s day in June was the perfect time to visit Hidcote’s orchards of mature, veteran and trained fruit trees.
- Mary J. Lincoln, on Fresh Fruit at the Dinner Table
Words of wisdom from a doyenne of the Boston Cooking School, published in 1891 and still, sadly, as true today as they were back then.
- Anon, on Making (Apple) Fryturs
Here’s a late fifteenth century recipe for simple apple fritters coloured with saffron and spiced with pepper.
- M. L. Lemery on Making Codlin or Pippin Jelly
This 18th century recipe for a very simple staple – apple jelly – turned out to be typically not so simple to follow, unfortunately…
- William Verral on Making Apple Fritters a la Bavarre
A quick, easy, C18th recipe for delicious-sounding apple fritters, brandy-soaked and fried to a golden-brown finish.
- Fruit Thinning in Action – Thinned vs Un-Thinned Apples
A short post with photos to demonstrate the benefits of removing excess fruitlets. (Again with the fruit thinning..!)
- Far Fewer Apples and Pears Than Last Year? Perfectly Normal.
If your fruit trees aren’t carrying much fruit after an amazing harvest in 2020 then don’t worry, it’s quite natural.
- Orchard Visit: Snowshill Manor, Gloucestershire
In June 2021 I visited the orchards at Snowshill Manor in Gloucestershire and here are my impressions.
- Esther Copley on Making Gooseberry or Apple Fool
Here’s a deliciously simple recipe for making a classic fruit and cream dessert that you’d be foolish not to try yourself.
- Sir Kenelm Digby on Making Marmulate of Pippins
Here’s a seventeenth century knight of the realm’s recipe for a sweet and spicy apple conserve to spread on your toast.
- Barry Masterson talks Perry, Pomonas and Pomology
My twitter-buddy Barry’s article on the history of Pomonas and their origins in cider and perry production is well worth a read.
- Gallery: Impressions of Four Cotswold Orchards
Here’s a brief taster of four orchards that I visited in early June (longer write-ups to follow in due course).
- Mrs Eales(?) on Making a Welch Apple Pye
This eighteenth century recipe calls for pippins, dried fruit, sugar, eggs and plenty of booze.
- More Canker! This Time on a Cordon Apple Tree
Another dose of apple canker, this time on a cordon tree and with an even more drastic remedy required.
- Thinning Apple Fruitlets in our Air-Pot Mini-Orchard
Now is a the best time to hand-thin apple fruitlets, particularly on smaller trees and definitely on any that are growing in pots.
- John Nott on Making Clear Cakes of Plums
This eighteenth century recipe is for making what sounds like a plum-based version of a Pontefract cake.
- Time to Check Grafted Trees for Rootstock Regrowth
As leaves start to grow on your top-fruit trees it’s a good time to check your grafted plants for unwanted rootstock bud-break.
- Georgiana Hill, on Making Pommes à la Vésuve
Christmas pudding, eat your heart out… Georgiana Hill has a year-round combustible dessert recipe for all occasions.
- Book Notes: Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
This fascinating book delves into the rich symbiotic relationship between trees and the fungal networks that sustain and nourish them.
- Emergency Late Apple Pruning for Canker Control
Pruning apple at this point in the season isn’t usually advised, but sometimes you have to cut to control a problem.
- ‘John Downie’ is the Star of the Spring Show
We’ve had a really good year for blossom in the back garden, with crab apple ‘John Downie’ putting on a splendid display.
- The Austin Manuscripts, on Making Fygeye
Another medieval fruit pudding for you, this time a concoction of figs, ale and breadcrumbs, spiced with cinnamon.
- Dealing With Pear Midge Problems the Organic Way
Spring 2021 has brought blossom, but also pest and physiological problems in Ordsall Hall’s heritage pear trees
- Gallery: Pear Blossom at Ordsall Hall, Spring 2021
Enjoy this selection of photos of the Hall’s heritage pear trees in full bloom a couple of weeks ago.
- Ads of Yore: Big Profits in the Cider Business
And what do those big profits require? A big investment in a big juice pressing machine…
- Book Notes: Apple, A Global History, by Erika Janik
This slight, slender volume is… okay, but there are much better alternatives in print.
- The Austin Manuscripts, on Making Quynade
This recipe for a quinces and almond milk dessert of some sort could take longer to decipher than to prepare…
- Grafting Advice and New Cultivars from SkillCult
A shout out for Steven Edholm’s superb SkillCult blog, where he’s been offering grafting advice and talking about his apple breeding project.
- Now Collecting Historical Orchard Recipes
I’ve started putting together an index page of the archive recipes that I’m posting on the site.
- The Norfolk Biffin, A History Part I – Biffin Desserts
In part one of this article I explore the detailed story of the dried, pressed apple dessert known as the ‘Norfolk Biffin’.
- Poetry: ‘Apple Blossoms’, by Susan Kelly-DeWitt
Susan’s rather lovely poem perfectly captures the orchardist’s winter frustration and the anticipation of spring.
- The Forme of Cury, on Making Comadore
Anyone for a 14th century recipe for what sounds distinctly like a fried, fruit-filled doughnut?
- Thomas Dawson, on Making Apple Pescods
Fried fruity things, with apples, figs, dates, currants and spices? What’s not to like?
- Au Revoir to Pear, Plum and Damson Blossom?
Two nights of bad weather after early blossom has bloomed is bad news, but hopefully not the end of this year’s crop.
- On Winter-Proofing Apples, 1820s style
When winter came in 19th century America, it was out with the thin linen cloths to protect the fruit still on the trees.
- Elizabeth Clelland, on Making Quiddany of Pipins
16th and 17th century jam-making recipe, anyone? No jars back then though, so you’ll have to store it in boxes…
- Anon, on Making Applemoyse
This anonymously-authored 16th century apple dessert recipe could be a good one for anyone with a butter surplus to shift.
- Theodore Francis Garrett on Making Apple Bavaroise
Anyone for an apple Bavarian cream? Time to dust off your old bunny mould and whip up a boozy Victorian dessert in time for Easter.
- Frost Warning! Bad News for Blossom
It’s every orchardist’s worse-case scenario: a sharp frost forecast just as the blossom is starting to open…
- Ads of Yore: Hardie Orchard Equipment
As this 1915 ad shows, when it comes to useful orchard equipment, some ideas and designs never go out of date.
- John Mollard, on Making Pippins With Rice
Here’s another sweet-sounding baked apple dessert, this time from the early 19th century.
- ‘A Lady’, on Making Paste of Plumbs
The anonymous author of this 18th century tract takes time our from moralising to make something jammy.
- Eliza Acton, on Making Essex Pudding
This 19th century recipe is billed as Cheap and Good, and with just four ingredients it should be easy enough to make.
- The Austin Manuscripts, on Apple Muse and Apple Moyle
Two 15th century recipes today, both for sweet, colourful, apple and bread / rice potages of some sort.
- Fujiwara no Teika, on Spring
- A. W. on Making Apple Pomages
Here’s a 16th century recipe for a sweet, spice, apple and bread sauce (or dessert?) that sounds rather intriguing.
- John Murrell, on Making Apple Pufs
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for the sort of fried apple sweetmeat enjoyed in the early 17th century.
- Arnold’s Chronicle on Greffing Family Trees
Another 16th century mention for multiple-variety fruit tree grafting suggests it was quite a common practice for the time.
- Brossard (Mascall), on Graffyng Family Trees
As this 16th century quotation shows, the concept of the multi-variety ‘family’ fruit tree is not a new one.
- John Gerard (and Others), on the Vertues of Apples
Hot stomake? Pissing in drops? Dry skin? Gonnhorrhaea? Smallpox scars? John Gerard has a remedy for that, and it’s cheaper than you might think…
- Winter Pruning to Control Apple Canker
Sometimes a drastic tree health problem like apple canker requires a fairly drastic pruning remedy.
- Master Fitzherbert, on When to Graffe your Fruit Trees
Not sure when to graffe your peares, wardens or apples? Here’s Master F. to set you straight.
- Gervase Markham, on Medicinal Apples
Bubonic Plague? Pleurisy? Gervase Markham has just the thing to get you back on your feet again.
- Master Fitzherbert, on Equipment for Graffynge
Here’s a 16th century guide to assembling your graffynge kit, which every good housbande should keep to hand.
- Stepover Apple Trees: Winter Pruning, Year Two
A follow-up to last year’s stepover winter pruning post, with details of re-growth and this year’s pruning.
- Growing a ‘Family’ Apple Tree – Episode 1
I’ve been meaning to graft up a multi-variety apple tree for a while; here’s my first attempt.
- Fruit Tree Grafting Advice From the Experts
If you’re looking for expert advice on grafting apple and pear trees, look no further.
- John Evelyn, on the Variability of Kernels
Another good example of the almost scientific level of knowledge in C17th pomology.
- John Beale, on Sulphurous Cider Making
This 17th century snippet seems to be a method for making Brimstone-flavoured cider, unless I’ve read it wrong..?
- Rembert Dodoens and Henry Lyte, on Apples
Hoate stomacke? Take a sowrish apple for that. But watch out for blastinges in the belly…
- Planting Up More Cordon Apple Trees
It’s always a good day when you get to plant new apple trees.
- John Worlidge, on Grafting for Fun and Profit
In the 18th century pomologists knew that only grafted trees came true to type, without knowing exactly why…
- J. C. Loudon, on Persia’s Artistic Apples
Here’s a snippet from a 19th Century gardening magazine – sounds like it might be interesting to try.
- J. C. Loudon, on Making Raisiné Composé
Here’s a C19th recipe for a grape-and-apple jam that seems to be good with all sorts of things.
- Gallery: Winter in the Orchard at Quarry Bank
A few chilly images of the Apprentice House orchard at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal.
- Scion Gathering – Advice From the Experts
Another round up of videos, this time explaining the best way to cut and store scion wood for grafting.
- Darlene Hayes is Speaking of Cider Apples
A rather interesting new series on cider apple varieties has just started on the ‘Turn Them All Into Cider’ blog.
- John Evelyn, on the Use of Wildings for Cider
Sowing apple pips to grow wilding trees? “Facile,” says Mr Evelyn. “Hold my cider”, says Mr Brennan.
- William Hanbury, on Making Pumkin and Spiced Apples
Baked pum(p)kin and spiced apple deliciousness? What’s not to like?
- On The Trail of the ‘Hereford Beefing’
A chance glance at a Tweet sparks hours of enjoyable research into old apple varieties and this very long-read piece.
- John Taverner, on the Economic Benefit of Planting Orchards
It was a great idea in 1600 and it’s still a great idea in 2021: plant more orchards!
- Tree Planting Made Easy… with Dynamite!
Have a blast at tree planting time with this time- and labour-saving suggestion from 1911.
- Meet the Moor Nook Park Community Orchard
This short video from The Orchard Project highlights the transformative power of community orchards.
- Waxing Pomological at the Hort. Soc. London
A record of a rather superb (and rather under-unappreciated) gift to the Horticultural Society of London.
- Henry Phillips, on Healthy Drinking
It’s the nineteenth century apple juice concoction that’s on everyone’s lips…
- Fruit Tree Planting – Advice From the Experts
Four short videos, each explaining how best to plant your bare-root and/or potted fruit trees.
- Apple History, Apple Stories, Apples and People
A new website promises to bring us the fascinating story of the apple over the next 18 months.
- Charles Estienne, on Orcharding by the Moone
Wondering when might be the best phase of the Moone in which to plant your new apples trees?
- 145 yr old Wax Models of Apples and Pears
The Museums Victoria Whatmough Collection contains some rather fruity items.
- George Bunyard, on Planning a Family Orchard
If you’re wondering what to plant in your half-acre plot, Mr Bunyard has a few suggestions.
- Plot #79 Orchard Plan Now Online
The site now contains a set of pages of records of the trees we’re growing on our orchard allotment plot.
- Thomas Tusser, on Fruit to Plant in January
Looking for a handy checklist of fruit to plant before the month is out? Look no further.
- Leonard Mascall, on Graffing good Pepins
An intro to Genetic diversity and clonal propagation, sixteenth century style.
- Gallery: Winter in the Orchard at Ordsall Hall
A few pics, taken in haste before my fingers froze, on a bitterly cold January morning,.
- Via Twitter: The Pros and Cons of Plastic Tree Guards
Keith from @Stumpupfortrees has clearly done his homework on using tree guards when planting.
- Gallery: Harrison’s Nurseries Catalogue, 1912
In which a few colour plates from an old plant catalogue leads to an hour’s worth of speculative detective work.
- Ads of Yore: The Cutler Fruit Grader
They seemed like such a nice bunch of folks when we met them at the 1921 orchard trade fair…
- One to Follow: @Pomological on Twitter
Here’s a recommended Twitter account for anyone interested in pomological artwork.
- Richard Arnold, on The Craft of Graffyng
“To graf frute that shal have no core.” Clear. concise, sixteenth century instructions are provided.
- Ads of Yore: Pomona Tree Collections, 1930
Special offer fruit trees, anyone? Rail delivery as standard, postal service extra.
- Rev. T Collings Brehaut, on Locating Your Fruit Tree
A few words of advice as true back in 1860 as they are today.
- What Are ‘Chill Hours’ And Why Do They Matter?
The recent UK-wide cold-snap will have been really good for our fruit trees – here’s why.
- Samuel Colepress, on a Rare and Commendable Liquor
This sounds like a tasty twist on a traditional cider.
- R. Bradley, on Dealing With Unruly Espaliers
Are your pears unpleasing to Persons of Quality? Professor Bradley has the answer.
- J.W. Robertson Scott, on The Mystery of Apple Growing
Turns out apple growing is a lot more straightforward than some folks make out…
- Wassail, Wassail, With a Jolly Wassail!
It’s twelfth night – or one of them – which can mean only one thing in the orchard: Wassail!