Favourite Five Apple Recipes

favourite five Apples, and specifically British apples, are my favourite fruit. I love the variety in flavours that apples bring, from sweet and juicy, to crisp and sharp. I think that there is no better apple than a British one, so always have a self-imposed break from apples once the supplies of home-grown fruit runs out. I don’t see the point in importing foods which we grow so well anyway. Seasonality also has the advantage of allowing my palate to enjoy the plethora of other fruits available, and truly appreciate the first apple of the year. We have a really early apple tree (Beauty of Bath), so the first apple of the season is always one of our own and munched during the summer holidays. But, whether Cox, Russet, Windsor, Bramley, or any other of the 1,900 different varieties of apple trees held at the National Fruit Collection in Kent, they are a super ingredient for either sweet or savoury dishes.

A Simple Apple Pie – There is no better dessert than an apple pie. I like to use a combination of stewed apple and slices of apple in my pies. By stewing some of the fruit first with a little sugar, you get a soft sweetness with the addition of fruit with a bit of a bite. The joy of a pie is its simplicity, its fruit and a pastry top. The top can be puff-pastry, shortcrust pastry, homemade, or (dare I say it?) shop bought. Top the fruit with the pastry, give it a wash with egg white and a sprinkle of sugar and bake til golden. Serve with cream, custard, ice cream, even mascarpone.

apple pie

Apple & Blackberry Jelly -This is inspired by The Pig in Brockenhurst, where my son enjoyed an apple jelly at the end of a delicious meal. Its a simple dessert; so evocative of childhood, but also the waning of the summer and the coming of autumn. Take some apple juice and heat it with a little sugar (depending on how sharp the juice is). I use leaf gelatin, which needs three sheets to soft set 500ml of liquid. Prepare the leaf gelatin by soaking it in cold water for a few minutes, squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and stir into the warm juice until completely dissolved. Pour into small glasses and drop a few blackberries into each glass. Place in the fridge for a few hours until set.

apple and blackberry jelly

Apple Cake – This a deliciously moist gluten-free cake, based on one in Nigella’s Feast. I use whichever apples I have in the house to make the puree and often make too much, in order to enjoy it with porridge in the morning. The cake itself is a simple process, blitzing together the puree and eggs, ground almonds, caster sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, before pouring into the cake tin.

Pork Chops with caramelised apples and sage crème fraiche – This is a great way to serve pork chops or steaks. Start by frying two quartered and cored apples in 20g melted butter and a small spoon of light brown sugar. Cook for 5 mins, until golden and tender. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Add a little oil to the pan and cook four pork steaks for 5-6 mins per side, until cooked through and golden. Stir in 100ml Crème fraiche and 15ml chopped sage. Serve the pork with the apples, mash and perhaps green beans.

Waldorf Salad – Combine 1sliced apple, a chopped stalk of celery, 50g of walnuts and a handful of rocket in a bowl. Mix a little lemon juice with 1/2 tsp. of grain mustard, then stir it into 100ml of mayonnaise. Toss the salad ingredients in the mayonnaise and serve.

What’s in your favourite five apple recipes?

A Berry Good Tart

The allotment is doing well this year and one of the big successes has been the soft fruit. After a bumper crop of gooseberries, strawberries and currants its time for the later fruits. Our raspberries have been great, and the blackberries which run along the plot boundary are overflowing with a bounteous supply of bulging fruits.

So, after a visit the other day I returned with filled punnets and a desire to eat the harvest. Whilst flicking through cook books I found a recipe in Jamie’s Italy. I adapted his Torta do More, adding a selection of fruits to the top and using a mixed berry glaze instead of the suggested jam.

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Good Old Blackberry and Apple Crumble

One of the advantages of an allotment plot with a slightly overgrown bramble hedge is an abundant supply of blackberries to pick and eat. The slight trouble is that there seems to be a never ending supply and a raft of recipes is needed to consume them all. I hate to see them wasted. Enter the Blackberry and Apple crumble – a good old fail safe pudding. We’ve got a couple of apple trees at the plot too, so it uses some of our own delicious apples too. Especially the early ones which have to be eaten quickly as they don’t keep.

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Crumble is well loved and made by many, and this recipe is just my standard crumble. Seems to go down well with the family.

  • 125g plain flour
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 5-6 early apples
  • 80g blackberries
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 25g unsalted butter

First peel, core and cut up the apples into small slices. Heat the butter and gently cook the apples, adding the sugar, and continuing to cook the apples until they are soft. Once the apples are soft, add the blackberries and cook for a couple of minutes until the fruit is soft (but still partially whole) and releasing the gorgeous redeployment red juices.

To make the crumble topping, lightly rub the butter and flour together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively whizz them in the food processor for a few seconds – Which is often the easiest option hurry trying to quickly knock up a pudding for a hungry family. Once you have breadcrumb like mix, stir in the sugar and porridge oats

Spoon the fruit into a 23cm oven proof dish and top with the crumble mix. Put in the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for half an hour or until lightly brown on top. Finally enjoy with custard or cream!

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