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Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Whilst we’re on the theme of Saturday Walks, let me say that dues to holidays and the need to deposit the step daughter in East Anglia, there has not been a whole lot of walking done. I strolled around bits of France (when it wasn’t raining) on holiday but not enough to warrant the word ‘walk’. We did do a short walk however, last Sunday morning whilst staying over at Sharon’s sister Joanne’s place near Brandon in Norfolk. And what a rewarding walk it was!

Joanne had said that there were loads of plums ready for picking on our route and that we should take a carrier bag with us. We took two, and by the time we’d finished each was half full of ripe and juicy plums. I’m not sure what the variety was – the nearest I can find is Jubileum, which might be too young a variety for where we found them. However, if you search for the 1905 variety Jubilees – you will see that they are very similar.

Whatever they were, they are now plum jam!

Joanne gave us some blackberries she’d frozen and we stole a lot of her own apples, ready for picking in her garden; so the plan was to make apple and blackberry jam, and plum jam. Sharon achieved this feat yesterday – massively underestimating the amount of work required in removing the stones from the plums 🙂 The apple and blackberry has set as hard as we’ve become used to jam being these days and the plum jam is ok, but just a little softer.

You can see from the picture above, that they have already been put to good use. Rock on free(ish) food!

We’d bought those neat little jam jars on the right of the bottom picture in France – for next to nothing. We wish now that we’d bought more. Also for sale there, which we didn’t think we’d use (but …) were little paraffin wax pellets, designed to be melted and poured onto the finished jars to create a seal. You live and learn.

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And then of course there was the crumble for dessert!

Earlier this month, we’d been lucky enough to have been allowed the use of our friend’s Billy and Angela’s house in France for our holiday. In the back garden there (in Roussines) they have a magnificent apple tree, which was dripping with tasty red apples. I can’t be sure of the variety, but ‘Discovery’ is the nearest I can find. Their skin is quite tough, which is something I remember from my younger days – people used to peel the skin away in those days – but the flesh is pure white with just a hint of pink tinge. The flavour is tart with a nice depth of sweetness.

So we brought a bagful home.

As we’ve been back for almost a week, I thought it was time I started doing something with them. I peeled half the bag and cut them up into chunks and placed them in a large pan with just a little sugar and about an eggcup full of water. I then brought the small amount of water to the boil, covered the pan with a lid, lowered the heat and allowed them to cook for about 5-10 minutes. This allowed the apples to steam and when I lifted the lid the pan’s content looked like cotton wool was cooking away inside. Perfect.

A good stir with a wooden spoon and they were ready to make pies and crumbles or to be used as an accompaniment for roast pork. I decided to freeze mine for later use. The taste of the cooked apples is quite subtle, almost (Chardonnay) wine-like, rich and well worth the (very little) effort.

Then I made the apple crumble.

For this, I peeled the apples and sliced them into a small baking dish. These were raw, uncooked. I sprinkled them with a little sugar and set them aside for a couple of moments (not too long or they would go brown), whilst I made the crumble. I’ve always followed my old friend Cameron’s rules for crumble [3:2:1]

  • 3 parts plain flour
  • 2 parts sugar
  • 1 part butter/margarine

I blitz these together in the whizzer and then add a good handful of oats – which are then mixed in by hand. I added the crumble to the top of my apples, tapping the dish as I did so to settle the mix right down. Don’t put the crumble on too thickly.

Then I cooked it in the oven at about 180 degrees for about 30 minutes (but you know your own oven – just make sure it’s cooked).

Eaten with vanilla ice cream. Delightful.

Now, I need to concoct something for Billy and Angela by way of thanks. Apple Mousse?

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