Of course, we always recommend our Bramley apples from Ringden Farm over near Etchingham – BUT on this occasion we urge you to try the early Howgate Wonders. When they are picked early they are mild and citrussy but their flavour mellows over time. They are a different kettle of fish to the Bramley so ring the changes with a traditional Edwardian cooking apple.
This recipe waxes lyrical about eating outside on a summer’s day – but since apples and rhubarb are at their sweetest and best, we will have to sit by the radiator and pretend.
A note about the recipe….we wouldn’t bother with the demerara sugar, sticking as we do to a good local honey…especially a borage honey if you can find it, for the fragrant rosy flavour and aroma.
We also sell delicious creamy yoghurt but the large tubs are generally to special order, as most people prefer low fat, these days.
To overcome this and keep variety in our fridge, we often have a pot of Northiam Creme Fraiche and mix with low fat yoghurt (if we mix it – it’s so rich and creamy, it’s tempting to leave as is)…it gives another layer of tart depth to the flavour which works well with the malic acid in the apples.
Baked Howgate Wonder apple and rhubarb with vanilla-honey yoghurt
- 6 apples
- 150g of rhubarb, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp of muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 15g of butter
- 1 tbsp of Demerara sugar, to sprinkle
- 200g of Greek yoghurt
- 40ml of honey
- 1 vanilla pod
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
2 Score each apple horizontally to slightly pierce the skin – this allows the flesh to expand while cooking.
3 Core the apples by pushing an apple corer down through the apple until it pierces the bottom, discard the core. Repeat for all apples.
4 Mix the rhubarb, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Stand the apples up side by side in a baking dish.
5 Use your fingers to push the rhubarb mixture into each apple, dividing the mix evenly.
6 Add a blob of butter to the top of each and sprinkle over the Demerara sugar.
7 Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the apples are cooked through – you can check this by piercing the apples with a skewer.
8 Meanwhile, split the vanilla pod in half with a small knife. Scrape out the seeds and add to a bowl with the yoghurt and honey, whisk to combine.
9 Remove the apples from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve on plates with the yoghurt. Drizzle over the juices from the baking tray.
Recipe by Nathan Outlaw – Great British Chefs
The other day, Nick took this picture of these Bramley apples from the farm at Ringdens. Just so different from those monstrous waxy green supermarket specimens…. local fruit picked from orchards are blushed and rosy with an almost lime-coloured flecked white flesh, these have a wholesome apple flavour. They are just slightly too tart to eat raw, but not massively. Continue reading “Proper Sussex Bramley Apples”
Turn back the clock to the beginning of the 20th century and any Sussex resident would know and cook with medlars and be a mine of information about bletting and the suchlike.
But, the fact that this fruit looks so disgusting and we are not accustomed to eating anything, bluntly, half rotten, then this has fallen out of favour. But it’s really unfair, as it’s an exciting and delicious fruit that deserves it’s place at the table.
It’s not easy to come by now, as farmers weren’t able to sell crops, so sadly chopped down trees to make way for other more lucrative ways of selling fruit. So this has become something of a delicacy and a bit more unusual – and therefore more expensive.
But the taste is a real sensation and most people, when you read articles, are amazed at the depth and sweetness of this peculiar fruit.
You can’t get away from this term – you have to ‘blet’ your medlars. This basically means letting them go brown and wrinkly. When they look like they should be composted they are ready to eat. More about bletting here.
Or you could speed things up and try them roasted in this absolutely gorgeous recipe for Roasted Medlar and Walnut Bakewell Tart
A wintry twist on the classic Bakewell with rich walnuts and unusual medlars.
- For the walnut Bakewell tart
- For the roasted medlars
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
- For the tart, line a deep 23cm/9in tart tin with the sweet shortcrust pastry. Place a sheet of baking paper or foil over the pastry and weigh down with baking beans or rice.
- Place the tart tin onto a baking sheet, transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the paper or foil and baking beans from the tart tin, then return to the oven for a further ten minutes until the pastry is lightly golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.
- Crack in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
- Add the ground walnuts and breadcrumbs and fold together until well combined.
- Spread two thirds of the damson jam over the base of the pastry case. Cover with the walnut filling mixture and smooth the top using a wet palette knife. Place the walnut halves around the edge of the filling.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Fold in the remaining damson jam.Watch technique 0:48 mins
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
- For the roasted medlars, heat the butter in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the medlars for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the sugar and cinnamon stick, then transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, or until the medlars are soft and the skins have split.
- To serve, cut the tart into slices and place onto serving plates with a spoonful of damson cream and some roasted medlars.
Photo: Gunar Magnusson
A diet rich in apples has been linked to a wealth of benefits such as weight loss, improved lung function and a lower risk of stroke, cancer and heart disease. Continue reading “Celebrating this week’s new apples”