23 September 2016 By Lucy Wheeler
At this time of year you can't move for apples. Of course we are lucky enough to have a good range in our supermarkets to see us through the year but did you know there are around 300 varieties grown in the UK? It is one of life's simple pleasures to be able to pick apples straight off the tree and scrumping really does herald the start of the Autumn season.
Of course, if you do have apple trees in your garden, you may be wondering how to use up a glut. Like the underused courgette glut in summertime, the apple often takes a backrow seat and ends up in crumbles. But there's lots you can do with apples.
Here are three very quick, very easy apple recipes:
- Heat oven to 130c (110c fan).
- Core and thinly slice apples.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment and lay your slices out in single pieces on the tray.
- Depending on the type of apple, you may need to sprinkle the slices with some light muscovado sugar.
- Sprinkle with your favourite spices. We love classic cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Cook for an hour, turning half way through.
- They should have dried out and have a light golden colour to them.
- Allow to cool and enjoy.
The make a lovely addition to pork.
- Peel and slice your apples in to slices.
- Melt a small knob of butter in a frying pan.
- Add the apple slices and sprinkle with a little brown sugar and fry for 8 minutes, turning half way through. If using this as sweet a sweet pudding, you could add more sugar and some spices such as cinnamon and ginger. It would go very well with a healthy dollop of ice cream.
- The apples will be done when they are sticky and a beautiful golden brown colour.
- Serve alongside your pork chop to liven up your dinner.
- Peel and roughly chop 1kg apples. Add to a saucepan.
- Add 2tbsp cold water and 100g of caster or light brown sugar. It's best to do a taste test once the apples break down to see if you need more sugar. It will be entirely dependent on what types of apples you are using.
- Slice and de-seed a vanilla pod and add to the mix. If you don't have vanilla pods, use one teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract.
- Turn on the heat and stir constantly.
- If it's catching on the pan, add a little more water.
- The apples will begin to break down. If you prefer a little crunch to your compote, take it off the heat after 10 minutes. If you would like yours smoother, continue to cook for another 10 minutes, or until the apples are entirely broken down. Taste for sugar and stir some more in if necessary.
- If you want to add a bit of spice, you could substitute the vanilla for some cinnamon.
- Allow to cool before putting in a container and storing in a fridge. This recipe freezes well too.
We are looking forward to the upcoming Apple Affair, being held by our friends at West Dean on 1st and 2nd October. If you're in the area, pop along for a fun day to discover new apple varieties, do a bit of shopping from a selection of stalls and enjoy the abundance on offer in the Autumn harvest in their beautiful gardens. www.westdean.org.uk/gardens/events/apple-affair