• Handpicked Harrogate

A is for Apple B is for Bramley

Bramley apples are incredibly versatile, with recipes available for just about everything from bread and cake to jams, chutneys, bread and of course the traditional crumble.

The apples can even be grated raw onto your granola or yoghurt in a morning if you like a tart treat first thing in the morning. They will also cut through the sweetness of other fruit in a smoothie too.

Apple Sauce

Peel and core the apples and cut into small pieces. Add to the, ideally heavy based, pan with some sugar to taste and a little butter (or a splash of water if you prefer). Cook until the apples begin to break down and soften. Bramleys will quickly turn lovely and mushy but if you want to ensure no lumps, use a stick blender to eradicate all the bits and create a smooth finish.

Apple sauce made from these apples can be served with meats such as pork, but is equally useful as a topping for porridge, a flavouring for overnight oats (in each case try adding some raisins and cinnamon for a sweet treat that doesn’t require any extra sugar). Of course it’s also lovely on its own and makes a good, healthy baby food for weaning as well as a lovely dessert stirred through custard.

Apple sauce can also be used as an egg replacer in vegan cookery though it’s slightly damper than an egg so you may need a bit of trial and error to get the right consistency for your cake.

For a slightly different take on the cheese sandwich, try adding sliced bramley apples. Apples and cheese are such a perfect pairing and make a great lunch.

A favourite in the handpicked household is a mixture of mashed potato, cheese and apple. Don’t knock this until you’ve tried it.

Cook your potatoes as usual. Whilst the potatoes are cooking, cut your apple into small pieces and grate some cheese. Both amounts to taste and in proportion to the amount of mash being created.

Mash the potatoes with some butter and then incorporate the cheese and apples into the mash evenly. Serve and eat greedily. This recipe, surprisingly, freezes well so making lots of it and portioning it out will give you some delicious mash quickly on a day when you aren’t feeling like pottering in the kitchen. You can use Granny Smith apples or any other tart apple if you can’t get Bramleys. And if you wish, you can add salted peanuts to the mixture and serve it as a vegetarian main course.

For dessert you are spoiled for choice, with many people’s favourite being the classic apple crumble.

Apple Crumble

4 oz Self Raising Flour

2 oz butter or margarine

2 oz sugar

Porridge Oats (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together until they look like, well, crumble mix.

Cook your apples on the hob or in the microwave, then add some sugar, cinnamon and, if desired, raisins. Top with the crumble mix and cook at 180 for around 15-20 minutes until golden on the top.

If you have a real love of crumble, it can be useful to create three or four times the recipe and freeze the excess. It freezes beautifully and means that if you have a bit of fruit that looks like it would be better cooked than eaten fresh, you can cut your fruit up, give it a whiz in the microwave or a bubble on the hob, add it to a ramekin or dish (depending on how much fruit needs to be used up) then add some frozen crumble mix, stick it in the oven, and voila. Pudding is done.

In a similar vein, apple tray bake can be created from a standard sponge cake mixture.

Simple Apple Cake

4oz Self Raising Flour

4 oz Sugar

4 oz butter or baking block.

2 eggs

Mix the sugar and butter/baking block until white and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time with a little flour.

Add the rest of the flour and mix until nice and smooth.

Put half your sponge cake mix in your chosen cake tin. Add your apples. Add the remaining cake mix. Cook and then devour greedily.