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Ans se appelkooskonfyt

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Vandeesweek se uitgawe van Rustenburg Herald, benewens die feit dat dit die laaste van 2012 is, is ook ietwat geskiedkundig in die sin dat ons afskeid neem van die legendariese tant Ans van Zyl, iemand wat sonder twyfel diep spore in Rustenburg getrap het – om nie eens te praat van die mense op wie sy oor baie jare heen ‘n groot indruk gemaak het nie.

In hierdie laaste “kook” met Ans van Zyl, wil ons nie afskeidstrane stort nie – ons laat dit liefs vir ons Toeka (Uit Toeka se Dae elders in hierdie uitgawe) waar ons meer “formeel” van hierdie ystervrou van Rustenburg afskeid neem. Vir oulaas dus (soos ons ouer garde gesê het) vergeet ons van die lewe se bitter en kies “ soetgoed vir die siel” a la Susan Coetzer en wat is nou beter vir ‘n afskeidsgroet as om saam met Ans in die kombuis te staan en appelkooskonfyt te kook? Rustenburgers sal dalk onthou dat tant Ans van Zyl vroeër vanjaar ‘n resepteboek (“Kom ons kook konfyt”) die lig laat sien het. Hierdie resep vir egte, tradisionele appelkooskonfyt, is een van talle hoogte-punte daaruit…

Onthou – kies appelkose wat mooi geelryp is, groen appelkose sal na ‘n paar dae deel word, maar sal nie so geurig weesnie… Pap, ryp appelkose kook vinnig gaar en vertoon baie mooi in die fles. Jy benodig 2lb (910 gram) appelkose en 2lb (910 gram) suiker.
Gooi suiker oor jou vrugte. Dryk fyn en meng. Sit op lou plaat en verhit stadig sodat al die suiker kan smelt. Roer voortdurend met houtlepel - ook aan die kante van die pot. Sit deksel op dat ‘n bietjie stoom kan vorm. Na ongeveer 15 minute sal ‘n geel skuim begin vorm. Haal die deksel af en sit plaat effens hoër. Druk die vrugte fyn met ‘n aartappeldrukker. Baie skuim sal na bo kook - skep gereeld die skuim af.

Na sowat 20 minute sal die skuim begin minder word en die “jam” sal feitlik gereed wees om gebottel te word. As jy dit ‘n bietjie stywer wil hê, kan jy dit vir nog 4 minute langer kook. Wees versigtig, die “jam” kan maklik brand. Gebruik sommer ‘n gesteriliseerde soplepel om in die warm flesse te skep. Verseël en laat koud word voordat jy die bottel skoonmaak.

‘n Spesiale soort appelkoos word gebruik om heel of halwe appelkooskonfyt te kook. Wanneer heel stukke konfyt gekook word, kook ons dit die eerste dag vir 15 minute met ‘n toe deksel. Die volgende dag word dit net aan die kook gemaak, dan word die deksel heeltemal afgehaal.

Perskekonfyt

Posted in Jam

Skuins aan die anderkant van die Magliesberge in die Derby-omgewing lê die plaas “Koperfontein” van oom Andries en tant Miem Esterhuizen. Hier het die legendariese oom Apie van Staden oor jare heen tonne vol geelperskes tot mampoer gestook en uiteindelik minstens drie keer die mampoerkoning van Suid-Afrika geword. En soos dit moet, gaan die tradisie voort. Een van wyle oom Apie se 12 kinders, tant Miem, is vandag in eie reg ‘n “mampoer-koningin” en is een van slegs twee, drie vroue in Suid-Afrika wat ten volle geslisensieerd en gekwalifiseerd is om topgehalte mampoer te stook.

Maar nee, tant Miem stook nie net mampoer nie, sy maak ook topgehalte konfyt en ingelegte vrugte. Besef u dat hierdie ewe-legendariese vrou op 76-jarige ouderdom tussen 20 November en 20 Desember (2012) nie minder nie as 2 000 botteltjies konfyt en ingelegte vrugte gekook het? Ons het die afgelope vakansie self die voorreg gehad om by tant Miem en oom Andries in te loer terwyl sy besig was om te kook en in te lê. Sy kook vandees-week vir ons perske-konfyt en rond dit af met ‘ n botteltjie ingelegte perskes…

Perskekonfyt:
Jy kan perskes of enige ander vrugte gebruik – die metode bly dieselfde. Gelyke dele vrugte en suiker. Berei u vrugte voor deur goed af te spoel, te skil indien nodig, te snipper of maal na gelang van die vrugte en hoe u dit verkies. Kook eers net die vrugte op baie lae hitte gaar – so op hulle eie. Onthou om deurlopend te roer om te voorkom dat dit aanbrand en seker te maak dat dit saggies gaar word. Nou voeg u die suiker by, roer steeds baie om seker te maak dat die suiker smelt en oplos. Dit moet vir nagenoeg twee ure kook. U toets die konfyt deur met ‘n metaallepeltjie ‘n bietjie konfyt uit die pot te skep en stadig terug in die pot te laat drup. Die laaste druppels moet omtrent net-net stol en soos ‘n pêrel-ogie lyk – dan is die konfyt gereed. Skep uit in gesteriliseerde bottels/flessies en laat afkoel voordat u dit toemaak.

Ingelegte perskes
Maak so: Neem twee dele water en een deel suiker vir die stroop – byvoorbeeld 4 liter water, 2kg suiker en kook saam vir die stroop. Laat kook vir ongeveer 8 tot 10 minute op sag.

Gebruik 5kg perskes, geskil, gesny en gewas, gooi by stroop, kook ongeveer 5 tot 10 mjinute na gelang van hoe sag die vrugte is. Toets met ‘n vurk of dit sag en gaar is. ‘n Geoefende oog sal weet dat die vrugte gereed is as dit effens begin “blink” Skep uit in gesteriliseerde bottels, maak stroop vol tot bo en maak warm toe en bêre in die spens tot die kinders en kleinkinders kom kuier.

Mense wat graag meer wil weet, ‘n konfytjie wil bestel of by tant Miem wil leer – skakel haar gerus by 083-566-1147. (Ons beplan binnekort ‘n artikel oor tant Miem en die geheime van haar mampoer – kom proe saam!)

Jams & Jellies and wine from indigenous fruits

Posted in Jam

In recent editions of Rustenburg Herald many readers have followed the interesting series on “Wildevrugte van die Magaliesberg” which was written by local plants and trees expert - Naas Grové. But Naas is not the only one intrigued by the offerings of nature and in particular the Magaliesberg. Joan von Maltitz - a senior member of the Volmoed branch of the Vrouelandbou-unie, has been experimenting with wild fruit for ages. Joan is in fact, very closely “associated” with the Magaliesberg - Joan was literally raised in the foothills of the Magaliesberg where her family has owned land since the early nineteen fifties. Even today in her early eighties, Joan lives on her own land right next to the Bartlett family’s (Joan’s maiden name) land in the pristine Buffelspoort Valley just some 35 kilometres from Rustenburg.

“There are many indigenous edible fruit plants found in the Magaliesberg mountains. I have been intrigued by them and over the years tried to make edible products from them. This was usually a by-product of my collecting seeds to plant and raise indigenous plants, so any method meant that I should not damage the seeds. Most seeds are hard enough to enable fruit to be briefly “whizzed” in a food processor and the pulp and seeds then separated. Pulp was scraped off the seed from for example, Englerophytum magaliesmontanum (stamvrug) where the seed would have been destroyed using this method. Laborious!” - says Joan. “My first attempt years ago when there was a bumper crop of stamvrug was making jam. Delicious but it took too long to get sufficient pulp from the fruit to use. Since then I have made jam from almost all the wild fruits growing in my area, with variable results, Some - eg - Mispel (Vangueria infausta) simply would not work, others eg - the suurpruim (Zimenia caffra) was so sour that although it set well, it could not be used as a jam. Marula jelly is of course commonly made in the area. I did not make it as the process destroyed the seeds and it was not unknown enough for me to experiment. Others eg - wild apricot (Dovyalis zeyheri) had such a strange taste that it was not worth the effort”, she continues.

“Fruits that were unsuitable for jam I used in other ways - eg Mispel fudge, and Guarri (Euclea crispa) fruit cheese. Wild olive (Olea europaea subs Africana) fruits were in abundance 8 years ago and again this year. I used these to make jam, bottled in syrup, vinegar and a “wine”. I also made olives in brine. Tasty, but too full of seeds to be a viable proposition.

Thus recipes? Not so easy as they were usually made by trial and error.

Jams were usually made as follows; 3/4 unit sugar per 1 unit fruit pulp with the addition of lemon juice when not sour enough, left overnight, then simmered the next day, usually in a microwave as small quantities were involved until the correct stage was reached.

Jellies - water added to cover fruit, lemon juice added, cooked until soft, seeds removed by sieving, then pouring the liquid through a filter (I use a good oil filter “paper” rather than the traditional jelly bag) then adding sugar 1 or 3/4 unit sugar per unit “juice” and according to the pectin test, cooking until the desired stage.

Wild olive in brine is most easily made by alternating layers of ripe fruit with layers of salt. Liquid will be drawn from the fruit. I have also made it using green fruit and salt solutions, but it becomes infected with fungi quite easily.

Wine and vinegar: Pulp and juice allowed to ferment. Aerate by shaking and keep fruit flies out by covering with a piece of old nylon stocking and a rubber band. I added some syrup from my bottled olive fruit for the “wine”. Remember - the stage at which the juice is decanted, then filtered and closed with a stopper, determines the wine or vinegar stage.

This is difficult to get right - experience will help you to smell it, or perhaps a little easier - to taste it. It is very important to prevent “air” from reaching the liquid once you are satisfied with your “wine”. Prolonged exposure to air will eventually see it turning into vinegar...

Homemade Cherry jam and Rumtopf

Posted in Jam

The are many advantages to living on a farm/smallholding or wherever you could cultivate your own fruit. In Rita Schubert’s case (and her hubby Harry) the renowned Overvaal Protea and Fruit farm in the pristine Buffelspoort Valley is only a few miles up the road from where the Schuberts live. Rita and Joan van Maltitz and quite few ladies from the Woman’s Agricultural Association (Vrouelandbou-unie) became experts in the preparation of jam, sherry, syrup and the like over the years. So, for this wonderful cherry jam and Rumtopf (a very smooth and tasty sherry) Rita drove over to Santie de Wet of Overvaal and got herself a few kg’s of bright, ripe cherries which is cultivated in great quantities for the SA export market at Overvaal. For her turn at “Raak die ‘klits’ kwyt” Rita decided on Cherry jam which is cooked in a special way and a similarly tasty “Rumtopf” - a delicate sherry or even “port” made from the same cherries but without the same “kick” as ordinary liqueurs.

Rita does it like this...

Ingredients 
3 kg hulled cherries
2.3 kg sugar
Juice of 3 lemons
grated rind of 2 lemons (if small)
1 packet Gelierfix/kg of fruit (available at Kroondal Spar)

Method
Layer cherries with sugar in a pot and leave overnight. Add the juice and rind of the lemons and stir thoroughly making sure all the sugar has dissolved. Bring to rolling boil, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add Gelierfix mixed with 200 gm sugar into fruit, stir well and boil for a further 1 minute. Remove foam and four into warm clean, jars, then firmly close jars and turn them upside down. Let them stand on their lids for approximately 5 minutes and then label and store - OR let the jars cool and when the jam settles and a skin forms on top pour on melted candle wax sealing the jam well before closing the lid.

Rumtopf
As “agreed” above, the Rumtopf is a wonderful home-made sherry/liqueur that can be prepared with most types of fresh fruits. Rita’s version made with the same Overvaal cherries was tremendously smooth and although its reminds one of the popular Old Brown Sherry, it’s definitely better. If the result is going to be the same on the chilly day - one will have to see. Rita makes it this way...

Ingredients
Hulled berries or any fruit which have pips or stones but not soft fruit like papaw, bananas, pineapples etc. One (1) kg of fruit (stoned or hulled )covered in equal weight of sugar in a suitable glass bottle or large jar with lid. Pour in 1 bottle of rum. Close bottle and store in a dark, cook place for a few weeks until sugar is completely absorbed/dissolved. Do NOT shake or stir content once rum has been added. A liqueur will develop and the fruit will become saturated with the rum. Ideal for quick desert spooned over ice cream or for a night cap before bed time...

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