Apple season is finally here, the first apples are ripe and ready to eat or cook! I confess, I love apples for many reasons. In honesty, mostly as the children will all eat them! Having an apple tree means we save on our fruit bill! This weekend I have set about picking, peeling and cooking apples to freeze. It is so lovely to be able to grab some cooked apple out of the freezer to make a quick pudding on a cold day!
Perfect cooked apples
If you like your apples to resemble sliced apples once they are cooked, I recommend peeling, slicing them carefully, pop them into a microwave safe dish and adding a little water. Cover them and then microwave for 4 minutes. They come out still looking like and apple, without any browning. Perfect for puddings! I have to say my Father gave me this tip, and it really does work well!
Cooking with apples
I love experimenting with apple recipes and while I have to admit I’m far from a domestic goddess, I do enjoy having a go. It’s a guilty pleasure! Firm desert favourites in our house are apple crumble and a good apple pie – with homemade pastry of course!
It’s worth remembering that apple crumble works well in a packed lunch. I try to add a few oats to the crumble mix, and reduce the amount of sugar I use in the actual crumble. Homemade individual apple pies are fun to make with the children, and are also great for lunchboxes or after school snacks. I’m all about keeping things easy!
Last year we made this simple apple cake, something which I hope to try again this year, it was so popular but almost too tasty as it was eaten rather quickly! I’d like to try to make a Dutch Apple Cake this year.
While I will cook and freeze quite a lot of apples, I will also carefully store some eating apples. We have a variety of apples which store really well – russets. So I will be making sure some are stashed wrapped in newspaper in cardboard boxes in the pantry. Many apples store well when kept in cool dark conditions.
If you aren’t lucky enough to have your own apple tree, it’s worth investigating whether you live near a community orchard. I only realised last year that there’s one in the next village! We don’t use it, but so many families grab an apple or two at this time of year. I think it’s a fabulous idea, and wonder how many there are in the UK?