Tag Archives: apples

Apple Pie Slices

These Apple Pie Slices are a quick and easy way to bake up some lovely pastries for guests, snacks, afternoon tea or even a naughty breakfast!  (What?  Apples are a fruit ergo it’s healthy!)

Apple Slices

They are deliciously flakey and actually not too sweet.  They are also super quick and easy to throw together!

Apple Slices

They use my Apple Pie Jam as the filling but you could substitute with a bought apple jelly if you preferred. I would add a pinch of cinnamon to it though for maximum tastiness!

Apple Slices

I also use bought puff pastry because nobody outside of the Great British Bake Off tent has time for that nonsense!

Apple Slices

Makes 8

1 sheet pre-rolled puff pastry
1/2 jar Apple Pie Jam
3
 tbsp milk
3 tbsp demarera sugar

  • Heat the oven to gas mark 6 and line 2 baking trays.
  • Cut your pastry into 16 equal pieces.
  • Put a spoonful of jam in the centre of half of them.
  • Prick the remaining slices with a fork to make little holes in the top.
  • Put these pieces on top of the jam ones and press down all around with a fork to crimp the edges closed.
  • Brush the tops with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown.  You will probably have to switch the trays over halfway through if they are on different shelves.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little before you eat them.  They are equally good cold!

 

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Apple Pie Jam

I am obsessed with all things apples this month!  I love these Discovery apples from my parent’s garden and I want to try to preserve the joy for as long as possible.  Their season is starting to wane now so I thought I’d take some of the worse looking ones and turn them into Jam!

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This jam is a deliberately chunky one as I am hoping to be able to use it to make thinks like jam pies later in the year when I want to remember the gorgeous fragrant flavour of these lovely apples.  It has just a hint of cinnamon in to that end too.  Apples and cinnamon is a brilliant combination but one it took me a while to come round to.  Now I’ve come round I’m a big fan!

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I love the colour of this jam that comes from the pink flesh of the Discovery apple, if you use another apple then it will probably be a much paler colour but I’m sure would still be delicious!

Oh My Apple Pie Jam

 

Makes 6 jars

2 kg peeled and cored apples
1.5kg granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
small knob unsalted butter (* optional)

(0.75kg sugar to 1kg apples)

– Core and peel your apples and slice them roughly, leaving them fairly large, and place them immediately in a large bowl of cold water with lemon juice to stop them from turning brown while you do the rest.
– Drain your apples and weigh them, you want 0.75kg sugar for every 1kg of apples.
– Add the apples to a large, heavy bottomed jam pan.
– Add the sugar and cinnamon.
– I like to add a splash of water to start things off, about 100ml, but that’s because I’m a nervous jam maker!
– Turn up the heat!
– Prepare your jam jars, either by running them through the dishwasher or washing them in hot, soapy water then drying them in the oven on a very low heat.  Lids can be sterilised in boiling water.
– Boil your apples and sugar, the sugar will melt and the apples will start to break down, which is why we kept them quite chunky to begin with.
– Keep boiling for about 50mins-1 hour, stirring frequently to avoid catching but not too vigorously so as to avoid breaking down the apple as it cooks.
– If you have a jam thermometer you want to get it to 104C, Jam temperature.  If you don’t you can see that the bubbles get sort of small and the mixture more slow and gloopy.  It will drip slowly off the spoon.  If you pour a small bit onto a cold saucer and push your finger through it it should wrinkle up.  These are all signs that your jam is done.
– Add the knob of butter and give a good stir round.  (*optional)
– Carefully ladle into your prepared jam jars and seal the lids on tight.  Leave to cool, the lids should sick in so there is no dimple.  If any don’t seal then use these first and keep in the fridge.

Autumn Darcy

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Filed under Gluten Free, Jams and Preserves, Moderately easy

Christmas Pudding

As with the Last Minute Christmas Cake I don’t get to participate with this more than the traditional stir and wish.  However it’s another recipe that doesn’t need to mature or need constant feeding.  You can make it up on Christmas Eve if you want to or in September, it’ll still be great.  In fact I think we’ve been known to make up the 3 puddings and then eat one the next year! I can’t even claim the words for the recipe as my own here so think of it as a guest post from my mum.

Makes 3 average pudding basins

225 g dark brown sugar
400g white breadcrumbs
225g suet
half tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice
1 kg mixed dried fruit
50g chopped blanched almonds
2 large cooking apples peeled, cored and grated
zest and juice of half a lemon
2 beaten eggs
300ml Guiness/milk stout/dark beer
150ml approx milk

 – Mix all dry ingredients together.  
– Mix in apple and lemon, eggs, beer and anything else in the list and enough milk to make soft dropping consistency.
– Put into pudding bowls with a circle of baking parchment in the bottom of each.
– Cover with greaseproof with a pleat in the centre. 
– Steam for 4-5 hours.
– Leave to go cold and store in a cool place. (I make up the full quantity and freeze the spares.)
– To reheat thaw, if frozen, and microwave for 6 minutes, with a pyrex lid to keep in moisture, or if you are a traditionalist steam again for 2 hours.

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Mixed Apple Jelly

While I’m feeling organised I thought I’d get this recipe up before I forget all about it.  I found a hedge full of crab apples while out walking the dog a few weeks ago and although I didn’t know if they were edible I picked as many as I could get.  Luckily they turned out to be very edible!  I didn’t actually manage to get that many so I bulked them up with cooking apples that I couldn’t store as they were bruised windfalls.  Then I had 2 quince laying about so I chucked those in too.  It was a bad year for quince round these parts it would seem.  So mixed apple jelly was born! It’s a beautiful colour and smells divine. 

The best book on preserves ever is Let’s Preserve It by Beryl Wood.  Alas it is out of print so I may have to “borrow” it from my mother at some point in the future.  If I want to put something in a jar this book is my first port of call.  It’s magic!  This has been my first year of making jams, chutney and other things and I’m starting to get the hang of it now.  I used to be terrified of boiling sugar but now I’m a dab hand!  On the subject of sugar a lot of recipes I’ve googled say to use caster sugar.  Don’t.  Use granulated.  It’s much cheaper, which is great when using in these quantities,  and the size of the sugar crystals makes for better jams and other preserves. 

Quantity varies according to how much apple you start with. 

mixed apples: crab apples, cooking apples, eating apples, even quince
granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
a knob of butter

– Chop up the apples into chunks, don’t bother to core or peel them. 
– Put them in a very large pan and cover with water. 
– Bring to the boil and simmer until soft and pulpy, about 30 minutes -1 hour. 
– Line a seive with muslin and suspend over a large mixing bowl. 
– Tip the apple mixture into the seive and cover with the corners of the muslin to keep flies off.  DO NOT PRESS OR SQUEEZE or you will get cloudy jelly. 
– Leave overnight to drip into the bowl. 
– Measure how much liquid you have and add 1 lb sugar for every pint of liquid you have.* 
– Put these together in a large pan and add the lemon juice. 
– Bring to the boil and simmer at a good rolling boil for 10-15 minutes until setting point is reached.** 
– Skim off the scum until you reach a good violent boil then add a knob of butter.  This jelly does throw a lot of skum so you have to call it quits at some point of you’d be there forever! 
– Decant into warm, sterilised jars and put the lids on while hot.  This jelly sets fast so work quickly. 

*I got a perfect 1 1/2 pints and so added 1 1/2 lbs.  Usually I’m a metric girl but often jams just work better in imperial, imperial seems more fitting to me anyway. 

** I am now a convert to the sugar thermometer.  I didn’t want to be but it does make things a lot easier.  Mine has all the necessary points marked on it and is made so you can’t touch the nib to the bottom of the pan and also has a very useful clip to attach it to the side of the pan. 

To test the if the setting point has been reached hold up the spoon and see how the drips form.  If they’re slow and large then test it.  Keep a saucer in the freezer and place a small amount of the jam on this, leave it for a moment then push your finger across the saucer.  If the jam wrinkles ahead of your finger it has reached setting point.  The bubbles are also a good indicator, they should be big, about 1cm, not tiny little ones.

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Filed under Jams and Preserves, Moderately easy, Uncategorized

Free Food!!!

Tis the season for blackberries and apples.  We have a glut of both.  While walking the dog we’re picking pounds and pounds of blackberries and the little Discovery tree in our garden is positively laden down with fruit.  I love the apples from our tree, they’re deliciously sweet and the flesh is a gorgeous pink colour, almost like a peach when you take the skin off!  They’re not actually a cooking apple but I find that they hold their texture and flavour very well. 

 

The question is what to do with all the bloody things?

One answer is this simple Blackberry and Apple Pie Recipe

Serves 6

300g shortcrust pastry
2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tbsp corn flour
a few good handfuls of blackberries
6 tbsp golden caster sugar
milk to brush

– Preheat the oven to gas mark 5.
– Roll out the pastry to a thickness of about a pound coin. 
– Cut round your pie dish to get the top. 
– Having cored, peeled and sliced your apples toss them in a small bowl with the cornflour and half the sugar. 
– Mix the blackberries and apples together in the pie dish and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar. 
– Place the pastry on top of the pie dish and crimp the edges with a fork.  I like to use the spare pastry to make a picture of what is in the pie and put that on the top too.  If there’s enough left I frequently make a mini pie/tart in a silicone baking cup to have in my lunch. 
– Brush the top of the pastry with milk and then bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown. 
– Serve warm with cream or vanilla ice cream. 

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