There was a bounty of apples this autumn and I have been trying to think of different things to do with the remaining ones in my fridge.
Over the past week or so Ihave made various warm apple desserts. I love the tartness of a cooking apple but these desserts can be made with any apples that are on the sour side. A cooking apple tends to have firmer flesh and are generally larger in size than an eating apple.
Apples are a fruit that haveinspired much of our modern popular culture from The Beatles to Steve Jobs we are surrounded by symbols of apples.
There are thousands of different varieties each with their own unique taste and texture. They are a very important fruit providing us with fibre and vitamins in a neat little package.
Apple trees are cultivated around the world but are thought to have originated wild in central Asia. The long shelflife of the fruit, compared to something like a plum or peach, make it ideal for storing through part of the winter season.
I adore a simple baked apple and I often stuff the core area with last year’s Christmas mince. It is simple and tasty served with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. The second recipe describes slices roasted and topped with a salted caramel sauce. You can very easily use this sauce with a whole roasted apple as well.
Spiced apple parcel
2 medium cooking classes, cored and sliced
1 tbsp of orange juice
Zest of two oranges
25g of muscovado sugar
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
30g of golden raisins
20g of mixed nuts, chopped
370g puff pastry sheets
Flour for dusting
1 egg lightly beaten
Heat your oven to 200C. Place a clean flat baking tray into the oven.
Place the apple slices,orange juice, zest, sugar,cinnamon and raisins into a saucepan. Simmer for about five minutes. You want to apple to begin to soften slightly but not lose its shape in anyway. Add in the nuts.
Lay your puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface. It is ideal to have a rectangular sheet that is about 8in x 10in.
If you need to join sheetstogether, seal them well, so they do not split while baking. Lay the sheet of pastry onto a sheet of parchment.
Scoop the apple mixture onto one side of the pastry leaving about an inch ofpastry around the edge and top and bottom. Fold thepastry over the apple. Pinch it shut around the edges. Brush the top with the beaten egg. Cut a small slit in the top to allow air to release.
Gently pull or lift thesheet of parchment with the parcel onto the warmedbaking tray. Bake for 20minutes until golden and the apple is cooked through.
Warm apple fritters
2 medium cooking apples, cored andcut into large chunks
Half tsp of ground nutmeg
Half tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tbsp of muscovado sugar
200g of self-raising flour, sieved
140ml of milk
1 tbsp of sunflower oil
Mix the nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar and toss the chunks of apple in themixture so they are coated. Set aside.
Place the sieved flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and a quarter of the milk, whisk these into the flour and add the rest of the milk slowly until a smooth batter is formed.
Heat the oil until hot. Dip a chunk of the coated apple into the batter, making sure to coat it well.
Fry the fritter until golden and place it on some kitchen paper as you fry the rest. Serve warm.
Salted caramel sauc eand baked apple slices
2 medium-sized cooking apples, sliced to about 1cm in thickness
4 tsp of lemon juice
85g of muscovado sugar
25g of butter
150mls of cream
Half tsp of sea salt
100g of pecan nuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
Remove the core from the apple slices. Toss them in the lemon juice and place into an ovenproof dish. Roast until soft but still holding their shape. If you wish you can lightly grease the dish with some butter to ensure the slices come away with ease.
Place the sugar, 25g of butter, cream and sea salt into a heavy-based saucepan. Place over a low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat to medium and allow to bubble away for about three minutes until it has thickened. Set aside.
Serve the apples slices with a spoon of sauce poured over and the toasted pecan nuts sprinkled on top. It can also be served with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream.