March 4, 2016

tree-fermented apples

No, these apples weren’t the product of any in-house preservation technique; they were the serendipitous discovery of Blue Hill Forager Andrew Luzmore. The idea came to him when he was walking in the field at Stone Barns, this February.

"I noticed that there was this one Asian pear tree that still had five or six pears still on it. We picked one, squeezed it, and this crystal clear liquid came out," he said. Protected from rotting by the winter frost, the fruit was perfectly preserved, having naturally fermented on the branch.

Inspired by the discovery, Andrew reached out to a Hudson Valley apple grower to inquire after any fruit still left in the orchard. It turns out, there was a lot of it—several bushels worth, left on the branch, which the farmer was more than happy to sell.

The overwintered apples, which would have been forgotten in the field, have become a favorite garnish at Blue Hill: supple and juicy—like cooked apples—with a sweet, cidery flavor.