I have been mostly cooking apples

It's October in England so there must be apples.

We made our annual visit to Waterperry Gardens Apple day and tried lots of different varieties, all with names like Old Fred and American Mother and Pitmaston Pineapple. We came home with a bag each of  D'Arcy Spice, Kidds Orange, Orlean Reinette and Ashmead's Kernel and plans to plant one tree of each, which would be fine if I didn't mind my garden being all Food Forest and nothing else. I suppose there's always the planned grafting onto the old tree..

In the autumn there are always boxes of apples to help yourselves from at the end of people's drives in the village, so with our apples and some of the free apples, including a load from some friends who literally have more apples than they know what to do with we have:

Made Oliver Hardy's baked apple recipe from the wonderful Silver Screen Suppers. Hardy as in Laurel and Hardy. I cook a lot of baked apples in the autumn and winter because they're low effort and can share the oven with whatever else is in it. I usually core the apples right through and stuff with raisins or sultanas, maybe with some cinnamon, ground cloves and/or nutmeg, a bit of golden syrup or honey over the top and some water in the bottom of the tray. I sometimes score around the equator of the apple as it's supposed to help stop them exploding but I find that some apples become a pile of fluff whatever you do and that's okay. Sometimes I stuff the cavity with mincemeat and omit the syrup and spices and I love them stuffed with marzipan. Actually, I just love marzipan.
I have some almost candied quince left from making quince glaze and I think that would be good in them as well and I'm also eyeing up a jar of blackberries strained after making blackberry whisky which might go in the next batch. I vaguely recall a recipe I read somewhere which involved topping each apple with a disc of pastry so each becomes a little pie which I'd like to try too.
We eat any variation with custard, double (heavy) cream or evaporated milk if anything else feels like too much effort. I love evap, it's a hangover from my childhood. You can dilute it to reconstitute 'regular' milk but we usually use it as a pourable cream. It's not sweetened and not as thick as condensed milk.
I try to bake more apples than we need so they can go in the fridge as a weekday dessert with yoghurt or my daughters and I like them for breakfast, again with plain yoghurt and maybe some oats or a bit of granola.
Oliver Hardy's apples are cored differently, so you leave the base intact to retain as much syrup as possible; only use almonds to stuff, no fruit and mix Angostura bitters with the honey which I loved. A special occasion drink as a child was a few dashes of bitters in lemonade to make it pink. I thought there maybe objections from the family about the lack of dried fruit but everyone loved them.

Made fruit leathers, dehydrated apples and mincemeat. I dry apples in rings for snacks and cubes for adding to granola and flapjack.

apple and quince fruit puree going into the dehydrator

I have lots of pectin now so I dehydrated some peels to make apple powder

Pressed juice for cider and pasteurised juice.

Scratting the apples


Straining (and stopping the juice run out of the hole whilst the bucket isn't there).

Apple pressing is always fun. For a few years we did it with a group of friends but for the last couple of years we've done it on our front drive. Good for building community spirit! Some neighbours came and joined in with their apples and others just stopped to chat and try freshly pressed apple juice (complete with daughters dressed as fairies with pink wings after a party).
It's all a bit Heath Robinson but does the job. We did have to get a new shredder this year as the other one that was fished out of a skip about 10 years ago had given up the ghost.

The chickens eat a little bit of the apple pomace (leftover pressed apple) but the rest bulks up the compost heap.


  1. This is so great! Pressing apples out the front!! I'd join in for sure! I am missing our apples. Looking forward to an abundance again!
    I was interested to read that you dry the peel to powder. What do you use that for??
    This post makes me a bit hungry.. :)

    1. If you ever visit the UK come in October and you can come and help!
      I haven't tried the apple peel powder before but it's supposed to be very good for you and be good on porridge/oatmeal, pancakes, granola and muesli, baked goods, yoghurt, that sort of thing. I'd made enough pectin and vinegar and the chickens get bored of eating too much of the same thing (fussy birds!) so I thought I'd give it a go.

    2. Oh I totally would!! Love to come back to the UK some time. We'd ear mark a few places for hiking for sure!
      I like the idea on the apple peel powder. Like your chickens, mine also get over being fed heaps of the same thing. I think I will give that a try when the apples come on again.


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