In the front garden of Dad’s house there are half a dozen old fruit trees. They are mostly apples but we also found one single lonely pear growing in the corner. This was in contrast with a plum tree in the back yard which has produced with abundance over the past month much to the delight of the pugs who sneak off and wolf them down at any given opportunity!
I spent part of last Saturday afternoon gathering windfalls and shaking branches to gather enough fruit for a crumble. Along the way I taste tested all the different varieties to try and find out if they were ‘eaters’ or ‘bakers’ and much to my delight there was an even split of tart cooking apples and sweeter eating varieties. I have no idea what the variety names are, but a small russet-skinned fruit proved to be the winning apple of the day and a smooth bright green baking variety made a delicious crumble for that evening’s dinner.
These pretty blushed apples came home with me and I’ve used one of them for the latest recipe instalment in the CoopKnits Great British Pudding Sock Club. This months sock pattern is called Pip and The Knitting Goddess dyed a beautiful pink yarn inspired by the flushed skin of the apples. I have chosen a recipe which for me encapsulates Autumn; it’s a cakey twist on a flapjack and is delicious served with a mug of tea or tucked in a lunchbox, but I’m sorely tempted to try it hot from the oven served with a generous pouring of double cream!
Windfall Apple Slices
(makes 12-16 depending on greed…it’s 12 in our house!)
100g self-raising flour
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100g unsalted butter
100g light brown sugar
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 eating apple
Pinch of cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg or other favourite autumnal spice if desired
Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan oven) or 180°C for a conventional oven.
Lightly grease an 18cm square tin.
Mix the flour, oats and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and leave to one side.
Peel the apple and finely chop – you want thinnish small pieces. Add a pinch of spice if you like or leave plain if preferred.
Place the butter, brown sugar and syrup together in a pan and melt very gently.
Pour the melted liquid into the bowl containing the flour and oats and combine thoroughly.
Press half the oat mixture into the bottom of the tin – I used a palette knife to persuade it into place.
Sprinkle the apple over the oaty base and level it out as best you can before topping with the remain oat mixture. This top layer of oats can be tricky to spread evenly over the apples, but don’t worry if you have small gaps or if bits of apple poke through and things will melt and settle a little bit in the oven.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden, taking care not to overbake.
Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then divide into slices (still in the tin) and allow to cool completely before removing from the tin and storing in an airtight container.
The slices will keep for a few days if they don’t get snaffled first!