Over the last few weeks, I have noticed a strange phenomenon: if either Tim or I comes into physical contact with our parents, we somehow receive a carrier bag full of apples. They have been given openly: “Here’s some cooking apples from the garden,” or more subtly – left by the side of the oven. Either way, I’ve had to get creative in using them up!
Here are my top 10 ways to use cooking and eating apples (when the eating apples aren’t quite nice enough for eating on their own).
- Apple crumble
A classic! A layer of stewed apples (flavoured with cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg), topped with rubbly crumble. I love this Good Food Recipe for Apple Crumble.
2. Apple pie
I usually use shop-bought puff pastry over a dish of gently cooked cooking apples. If you brush the top of the pastry with beaten egg, and sprinkle over some demerara sugar, it’ll look, and taste, great
3. Apple puree
Not just for babies! If I have a lot of eating apples which are a bit wormy, a bit bruised or generally not quite nice enough for the fruit bowl, I make an apple puree.
- Peel, core and quarter the apples, cutting out any nasty bits. Put them in a saucepan with a little bit of water added.
- Heat gently, with a lid on the saucepan, checking every 5-10 minutes. You will start to see the apples ‘collapse’ as they cook.
- Cook for around 20 minutes (although this will depend on how large your apples were and what kind they were).
- Blend in a food blender or processor. You may need to add a little more water to get the consistency you desire.
I keep this in a kilner jar in the fridge, and use it with porridge or yoghurt for breakfast. You can also add it to muffins, in the recipe below, or reheat and have it with ice cream. It’s really great because you don’t need to add extra sugar.
4. Apple and Cinnamon Cake
Being originally from Somerset, I do think I should have some kind of ‘signature’ apple cake, but most of the recipes I have found come from either Dorset or Devonshire. Anyway, this is my current favourite – from The Goddess Kitchen.
The recipe is originally adapted from a Mary Berry recipe.
5. Apple muffins
This recipe from Running with Spoons is very similar to a River Cottage one I use. I love it because it’s really healthy and uses lots of apples! She uses greek yoghurt instead of butter or oil, which does work well.
6. Apple Chelsea Buns
These (recipe here) from River Cottage are actually amazing. I’ve made them twice now, and both times they’ve turned out perfectly. They are a really good treat, and perfect with morning coffee (I say that like I have morning coffee. I don’t.)
7. Apple pancakes
I love Jamie Oliver’s recipe for pancakes – one cup of self raising flour, one cup of milk and one egg. If you add one grated apple to the mixture (you could get away with 2 small ones), or a few tablespoons of apple puree, it’ll be delicious.
8. Squash, apple and ginger soup
- Peel and de-seed half a butternut squash. Cut flesh into 2 cm cubes.
- Place in a microwavable bowl with a splash of water.
- Peel and core 1 apple. Quarter and add to the bowl with 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger.
- Cover and microwave for 5 minutes until squash is tender.
- Blend in a food blender.
- Serves 1.
9. Potato and apple fritters
This recipe, from Chocolate Shavings looks great. We’re having them tonight with sausages!
This is a Delia Smith recipe, and it’s so easy. The photo really doesn’t do it justice, but it’s a great ‘slightly special’ dinner recipe. The cider and creme fraiche sauce is delicious.