Last weekend we went apple picking . A patch by the railwayside where amongst all the scrub land there are loads of neglected apple trees. I wonder if this was an orchard once, because there are a lot of varieties from dark red to pale yellow. The area is almost ( but not quite entirely) inaccessible and the forgotten tree are groaning with fruit.
Britain has more than 3000 varieties of native apples however data from Natural England showed orchards in England have declined by 63% since 1950. In 2007 imported nearly 70% of our apples (Defra Basic Horticultural Statistics 2008).
More and more community Orchards are however being created up and down the country, more people are planting fruit trees in their gardens, micro cider-makers are flourishing, old traditional orchards are being valued and conserved by Natural England and others for the richness of wild life they support.
This weekend I picked a few kilos for a few recipes
This tart is an homage to those beautiful french tart aux pommes. I had to leave the skins on because they were just too pretty , it takes time to layer them onto the pastry but it is quite meditative once cooked it is perfect hot with vanilla ice cream or cold with whipped cream.
An apple tart
400g of apples ( half peeled & half skin on)
100g of plain flour
50g of butter
20ml of water
- Grease a 30cm fluted tart case
- Preheat the oven to 190degC
- Take the peeled apples, add the cinamon , sugar and pour over the water
- Cover & simmer until the apples have complete softened to form a puree
- Meanwhile crumb togehter the butter and flour
- Add the water to form a pastry and chill in the fridge for 20 mins
- Finely slice the unpeeled apples and place in water with a little lemon juice
- Roll out and line the tart case
- Line with greaseproof paper and lentils or baking beads
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes
- Fill with the apple puree and lay over the sliced apple, bake for a further 30minutes
I adore apple crumble, a taste of childhood and so simple to make. I think everyone makes it in school cookery classes where it suits small hands to crumbling butter into the flour .
Toasted crumble topping combined sweet/sour fruit tastes divine So delicious I am wondering if I can justify it as a breakfast dish.
200g of apples peeled cored and roughly chopped
4tbsp of sugar
5 tbsp of water
1 tsp of cinamon
25g of butter
50g of demara sugar
100g of flour
100g of rolled oats
- Heat the oven to 180degC
- Mix the apples with the water sugar and cinamon and place in an overproofdish
- Crumb together the butter and flour
- Mix in the oats and sugar
- Cover the apples and place in the oven for 40 minutes until golden brown.
I even used the apples them with a pork joint rubbed with fennel seeds and roasted with quartered apples that form an uncutous apple caramel sauce , delicious with the pork in sandwiches.