by Dirk Versfeld
(Bo-Kouga, Langkloof)

I have been growing kei apples for years. A couple of plants came from Montagu Nursery, and then we propagated most from seed collected from big trees in a park in the Bo Kaap. Seedlings easy to make. Not all plants bear and fruiting is also seasonally very variable. I have planted about 50 trees in a long fence-line (in the Bo-Kouga - Langkloof).

I have just made a lot of the most delicious jelly:
Ripe fruit
Just cover with water and stew down slowly to a complete pulp (a couple of hours - the fruit boils over and/or burns on easily and a slow process saves a lot of mess)
Drain fruit a muslin bag for as long as 24 hours
I mix the juice with ⅔ sugar by volume and add quite a lot of lemon juice.
Boil the "sauce" slowly for a LONG time (2-3 hours) to reduce this and get a really good set. The resultant jelly will be a deep maroony colour. The longer it is cooked down the deeper the colour and the better the set.
This makes quite the most delicious jelly in the world.

Dirk Versfeld -

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Jul 15, 2020
Thank you Dirk for your fruitful discussion point !
by: Caroline

Hi Dirk,

I'm delighted that we share an interest in native food plants !

Thank you for your comments and recipe for the Kei apple jelly. It is very useful. I so badly want this fruit in my garden because of old recipe books. I'll definitely be heading up to the BoKaap. There are also Kei apple hedges along the southern suburbs railway line and one big one that is a good bearer opposite A Touch of Madness in Observatory.

I have only had success with Numnum (Carissa) so far in terms of fruiting. After planting six trees 25 years ago, there is one that is always loaded. Makes a lovely sour conserve for tarts. And the colour is bright pink and lasts through cooking and long storage, as shown in my fruity Numnum vinegar.

I've grown Harpephyllum saplings very easily. They have not borne yet. Did you know it has higher anti oxidant numbers than blueberries ?

You may like to follow Loubie Rusch of MakingKos fame on facebook. She is an indigenous food expert and very creative. Always doing something new.

Its such a pleasure to hear from you. How are we related ? My grandmother was Carol Versveld,daugher of Tinnie, originally from Darling and my mother is the famous / infamous Pixie (chortle)

Loved your remarks

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