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Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Fresh Fruit

Since discussing fresh, free, fruit before (http://bit.ly/r8WPnK and http://bit.ly/qtyNkb), John and I have done quite a bit of fruit scouting on our (usually regular) intermittent Saturday walks. We started ‘clocking’ wild (or at least, in the public domain) fruit trees last autumn and have spent this late summer, checking them out.

We started picking some apples about a month ago around the area where my grandma used to live (now waste ground), on Willow Lane and they are fabulously sweet but quite small. Yesterday we decided to start picking the others!

There’s a beauty down by the Incinerator that’s easy to climb and ripe for picking. There’s another at the end of 15 arches that has tiny but sweet, bright red apples and yet another just by our parking spot on King’s Mill Lane. Furthermore, my grandma’s tree is still full of fruit – so yesterdays’ haul was a big bag of apples each!

Today, I washed and dried all of the unblemished ones and wrapped them in newspaper – they can wait in the garage until I’m ready for them. The damaged and blemished ones have now been peeled and cooked for sauce (and or anything else).

Free food? Fabulous!

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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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