Family resemblance at the blossom end: bottom to top rose hips, apple, crabapple, pear and quince
…might be an apple, a crabapple, a pear or a quince. All the above are a part of the family Rosaceae.
What to do, as we’re almost out of preserved apple products in the house? Our next-door neighbor has a lovely large-fruited crabapple tree, and he encourages me to pick them. I was a bit too busy this year to do so at the proper time so I passed; crabapple jelly can wait another year (that, and I have two pints left from last year). Our ancient apple tree is a biennially bearing and this was an off year. Our nascent orchard is a good 3 years from producing for us. The other neighbor’s trees are bearing but dang are the apples puny.
So: after our nearly fruitless hike on Satuday, the kid and I got in the car. I got up the courage to stop at a neighboring farm. I had admired their orchard for years, and, as far as I could tell, the trees weren’t being tended or picked. I came armed with gifts of grape and strawberry jam: might we pick your trees, I asked? Oh yeah. Go ahead. And there’s pears and quince around the side of the house you can have, too, said the owner.
Bingo! One quick trip yielded two bushels of apples, one of pears, and a half-bushel of quince. I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask. These will make a lot of lovely sauce: quince adds a nice fruity bite. The pears aren’t quite ripe but that’s also okay. Pears atop salads are great in November and December. And pear tarts and poached pears…
Fuzzy quince: these smell wonderful, but are too sour to eat out of hand and should be cooked