Updated: Feb 16
While we are in the middle of winter, it can seem that options of fresh fruit and vegetables become somewhat limited, but spare a thought for the humble apple! With many hundreds of varieties to suit many hundreds of needs and recipes this is a fruit which is grown locally in abundance and stores well through the winter until less hardy varieties and softer fruits are once more in season.
The sweetness and middle thick skin make it a great eating apple
Supermarkets carry a few very familiar varieties such as elstar (sweet, good for eating, great for using raw in desserts and fruit salads), granny smith (firm, more acidic - perfect for cooking with) or golden delicious (softer, primarily for eating) which are still fine apples, but at local growers you will find other less well known varieties which will always taste more, well, ‘appley’!
One variety which can directly replace each of those supermarket varieties is the goudreinet. It has a firm flesh and is sweet with a light acidity. The sweetness and middle thick skin make it a great eating apple (and it won’t bruise so easily at the bottom of your bag), but the firm flesh and mild acidity means it is also well suited to cooking with.
Try peeling and roasting in a warm oven (180 celsius or so) with a little brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon for a tasty crumble base or filling for an apple pie.
Or, cook with a sweeter white wine and a spoonful of sugar before blending to make a puree to accompany scones or to put a twist on a filling for a traditional Victoria sponge cake.
Puree and whisk with butter, sugar and whole eggs over a bain marie for a rich and tangy apple curd, great simply spread of bread (maybe with a little hagelslag) and it stores well for months!
Cook with a splash of white wine, onions, garlic and sage with a little honey to sweeten it for an apple sauce to go next to your next roast pork on a Sunday.
Cut into strips to add a freshness and acidic crunch to any salad.
…. Or just eat them as they are!
Seek them out! You will find them at any local grower and locally focussed food markets. Also at feed this month we are featuring them in our apple and pear crumble, our apple spiced sponge cake and with our fluffy breakfast pancakes!