Happy New year everyone!
Here is a little winter/autumn warming treat to see you through January and February, and a great way of using apples left over in storage from the harvest of 2018.
Mum’s Baked Apples
-6 large baking apples -3/4 cup dark brown sugar -1/2 cup raisins -1/2tsp ground cinnamon -1/4tsp grated nutmeg -1tbsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Wash and core apples, then remove a 1-inch strip of peel around the middle of each. Arrange the apples in a baking dish, 2-quart shallow.
- Combine the brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Carefully fill the center of each apple and dot with 1/2tsp of butter.
- Add just enough water to the baking dish to cover the bottom. Bake, uncovered, for 45-60 minutes, or until the apples are tender (larger ones will take longer). Baste the apples with the juices occasionally.
- Serve the apples warm. Left-overs can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Sorry this is so late – I promised it ages ago when the apples were in high season, but uni essays had to take priority!
So, apple and cinnamon – a good mix.
This is a little autumnal treat. Eat it on its own or serve with a nice hot pudding. What about a winter crumble with apple and cinnamon ice cream on the side?
Apple and Cinnamon Ice Cream
(1L ice cream container)
-1 cup whole milk -3/4 cup granulated sugar -2 cups double cream -6 egg yolks -2tsp ground cinnamon
-2tbsp butter -2 large apples, cored and diced into chunks -1/4 cup dark brown sugar -1tsp ground cinnamon -1/4tsp ground nutmeg
- To make the ice cream base: in a large pan, add the milk, 1/4 of the sugar and the cream. Bring just to the boil.
- In a large bowl, mix the rest of the sugar and the egg yolks together. Carefully pour in the heated milk mixture and start to whisk it in.
- Once combined, mix in the ground cinnamon thoroughly.
- To make the apple compote: melt the butter in a non-stick pan. In a bowl, toss the apple with the brown sugar and spices. Tip into the pan and heat, stirring often, until the apple is tender and the sugar has melted. This should take a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- If using an ice cream machine, follow the manufacturers instructions. If making it by hand, pour the ice cream base into a large ice cream container. Scrape in the cooled apple mixture and stir in, using figure of eight movements. Seal and place in the freezer. Every half an hour, remove and repeat the same figure of eight swirls. Continue until the ice cream has set. Serve.
Feeling like Snow White when you eat a perfectly homegrown red apple from your tree…
Collected a whole bucket of apples from the garden the other day. This is a beautiful Braeburn.
Other than eating them as delicious snacks, what else can you do with apples? Well, here are some ideas…
Apple and Blackberry Crumble
Dried apple pieces in a dehydrator
Straight apple and cheddar cheese is yummy. My brother melts cheese and then puts it over the top of sliced apple.
Stewed apple and chocolate ice cream – so good
Cut up apple and serve alongside a pudding
Add apple and cheese to a homemade loaf of bread
Apple and cinnamon ice cream (coming soon…)
Add apple to your coleslaw or Waldorf salad
Grate up and add to your River Cottage Carrot Walnut Cake adapted for moist yumminess.
I will admit it – I used to hate carrot cake. The idea of a vegetable in a cake, an orange vegetable at that, was just crazy. But, now I can literally eat my own words. I’ve had at least three different types of really good carrot cake recently, but the best so far has been a recipe my mum made from the River Cottage Veg Patch handbook.
Now, she adjusted the recipe a bit. She added more dried fruit, salted butter instead of oil and any extra salt, instead of apple sauce she grated a whole apple and a pear (in a food processor) because our trees have been so generous this year, she ground the walnuts up (because that’s our trick ingredient to a good homemade cake) and she made the mistake of adding the syrup that is meant to go over the top at the end into the actual cake, but it was so much better. It wasn’t sickly sweet or sticky then, it made the cake instead moister and more delicious.
It is a darling of a recipe and very good for you too!
River Cottage Carrot Walnut Cake
– 150g sultanas, raisins, currants -220g self-raising flour -1 tsp baking powder -1 tsp ground cinnamon -1 tsp ground ginger -Pinch of ground cloves -220g light brown sugar, plus an extra 3 tbsp for the syrup -116g salted butter -Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange -2 eggs, lightly beaten -225g apple and pear, coarsely grated -270g carrots, peeled and coarsely grated -80g walnuts, ground -1 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 20–22cm square cake tin, about 8cm deep, with baking paper.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and ground cloves.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the 220g sugar, butter and orange zest until well combined, then whisk in the eggs until the mixture is creamy. Fold in the apple and pear, followed by the flour mixture until just combined. Next fold in the grated carrots and ground walnuts.
- While the cake is in the oven, make the syrup. Put the orange juice into a small saucepan with the 3 tbsp light muscovado sugar and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Warm over a low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Fold into the cake with the sultanas.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for about 1 1/4 hours, until a fine skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If the cake appears to be overbrowning before it is done, cover the top loosely with foil.
- Stand the cake tin on a wire rack and leave to cool. Serve hot or cold. Store in an air-tight tin.
Beautiful apples and pears from our garden.
Incase you have lots of apples, try this cake recipe Apples Apple and Almond Cake with Cinnamon. It is delicious. I’ve made some adjustments though: bake at 160C for about 2 hours or more, checking if it is cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre. This prevents the top from burning but gives you a lovely moist yet cooked sponge.
Today’s pickings – runner beans, courgette, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, wineberries, giant baking sized potatoes and windfall apples for the pigs!
Had to share them because they were all so damn beautiful.
And the most beautiful sight of all? Snoopy the beagle curled up in the horticultural fleece. She didn’t want to leave the garden and go inside for dinner too 😦
But she got over it when mum started making pie…
It is Mother’s Day tomorrow and even though I am not at home right now and unable to make one of the greatest people in my life a special cake, give her a hug and a bouquet of primroses from the garden and I can’t spend the day with her, I offer you the link to my baking blog to inspire everyone to roll up their sleeves and get baking for the perfect, homemade gift for their mum. Top the baked item with edible primroses from the garden, the perfect spring celebration!
Flowers for the buzzy bees – link to edible flowers post for future cake decorating ideas