Trying to eat *fairly* seasonally means that we are currently eating or preserving all the apples that come our way. For a few weeks now, our local veg delivery company – Northern Harvest – has had a variety of different apples to try. Just now they have Spartan, Royal Gala, Melrose, Kidds Orange, Golden Delicious, Crispin, Cox’s Orange Pippin & Chivers Delight available for us to try. Such a lot to try!
We don’t have an apple tree in the garden, but we benefit hugely from the fact that our neighbours’ tree overhangs our garden and they seem happy enough for us to collect the ones on our side – or at least they’ve never complained! It’s growing up against a huge wall (maybe 3m / 10 feet) that we think was built some time between 1870 and 1890, and we wonder if it’s a cordon apple that’s completely overgrown – it’s certainly a bit scabby, but that doesn’t seem to affect the fruiting (it’s prolific) or the quality of the flavour.
We’ve tried to work out what variety it is by using the identification tool over at Orange Pippin, and we think it might be a Blenheim Orange – if you’re an apple expert then do let us know! Whatever it is, we know it’s an culinary apple that cooks to an amazing sweet and fluffy pureé… I’m planning to slice and freeze as much as I can because we use a lot of apple sauce. It has loads of uses, but we especially like it in our favourite banana and apple bread recipe, and it’s also really useful when we’re making Nigella’s delicious Granola. I also want to make some apple chutney too, but haven’t found a recipe that’s appealed – so if you have a good spicy apple chutney recipe I’d be really pleased to hear about it.
Tomorrow we’re going to have baked apples after lunch – here’s our way of preparing them – our scrumped apples are brilliant for this because they get so fluffy.
- Allow 1 apple per person
- Mincemeat or a mixture of dark brown sugar and dried fruit and nuts
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C (350F, Gas 4) and generously butter a baking dish.
- Take the core (and a little bit more!) from the centre of each apple using a corer or a sharp knife. Score round the ‘waist’ of the apple.
- Smear the whole apple with butter and put it into the baking dish before stuffing the cored section with mincemeat or a mixture of dark brown sugar, dried fruit and nuts in whatever proportions you fancy.
- Put half a cup of water in the bottom of the dish, sprinkle a little sugar over the apples, and cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for around 30 minutes covered, and then uncover the dish and bake some more until the apples are golden and very soft (20-30 minutes, but it will depend on the size and type of apples used.
Delicious with cream or ice cream, and just as delicious for breakfast the next day if you have any left over. It’s worth baking extra just to have this next-day-leftovers treat…
Hope you’re enjoying lots of delicious autumnal food this weekend!