Do you have surplus apples? What to do??? Kerrie Maloney shares some great recipes here to solve this conundrum!
By Kerrie Maloney - our regular contributor
A couple of years ago we had a fence replaced and used this as an opportunity to overhaul a difficult section of the garden. Every gardener seems to have a challenging area; mine is the narrow garden bed on the west side of the house and facing east in what can only be described as a very small south facing front garden. Ballerina (columnar) apples seemed worth a try. They have been in for a few years and this year have produced a good crop. It seems that this is also the case for anyone who has apple trees.
I have a reputation for taking surplus produce and have come home to find a box or two of apples on my doorstep. Whilst there is nothing as delicious as a freshly picked, crisp and juicy apple there are limits to how many we can eat and inevitably we need to preserve them.
My first preference is to stew them. Often I do small batches in the microwave, however, they are best stewed with a very small amount of water and only long enough to soften and then packed into containers and frozen. We mostly eat them on our breakfast or in crumbles where we often combine them with rhubarb. Apples are perfect for cakes and dessert, no apple season goes unrewarded with an apple pie or two or my Simple Apple Cake. Still feel like baking? Give these recipes a go.
Apple puree made with the unsweetened stewed apples can also be used as a base for vegan cakes and is the classic accompaniment to roast pork.
Next up I make some apple paste to serve with cheese, similar to quince paste and sometimes some apple jam. I also add the apple paste to whipped cream to make the frosting for my Apple Layer Cake, which is a variation on the Simple Apple Cake.
185g butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup brandy/rum or milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups SR flour
6 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 170 deg C, grease and line the base of a springform cake tin.
- Melt butter.
- Combine eggs and sugar in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until thick and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and brandy/rum
- Stir in flour and then diced apples.
- Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin. Bake until cake is lightly golden, set and starting to shrink away from the sides of the tin, approximately 40 minutes.
- Leave the cake in the tin until cool and then turn out onto a cake cooler and allow the cake to cool completely.
- To serve, dust with icing sugar.
Apple Layer Cake - variation
1 qty of Apple cake
1 cup Apple Jam (recipe follows)
600 ml cream, whipped
Dehydrated apple rings and toasted coconut to garnish
- Follow the recipe for Apple Cake.
- Grease and line base of 2 or 3 sandwich/sponge cake tins, divide mixture evenly across the tins and spread out a smooth layer.
- Bake as for apple cake reducing the cooking time.
Apple Puree Jam
1 cup unsweetened apple puree
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
- Place apple puree, lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan.
- Simmer over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and continue to cook until the puree becomes thick and jam like. Allow to cool.
1 qty of Sweet Cream Cheese Pastry
A little milk or egg wash - to glaze
coffee sugar crystals or sugar - to glaze
600g prepared apples (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)
2 TBL flour
2 TBL sugar
- Divide pastry into 2/3 and 1/3. Shape into discs, wrap in clingfilm and chill.
- Roll out the large disk and line the pie/loose bottomed flan or quiche tin.
- Combine prepared apricots, flour and sugar in a bowl and mix well.
- Place the apple filling in the pie base.
- Roll out the second disk of pastry to make a lid for the pie by rolling out the dough, brushing the edge of the base pastry with a little milk. Place the lid on top and crimp the edges together.
- Brush pie with a little milk or egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake at 180 deg C for 20 minutes and then reduce heat to 160 deg C and cook a further 20 to 30 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow the pie to cool for some time.
- Remove from tin and place on a serving plate. It is best left for an hour or two until the filling cools.
- Serve the pie at room temperature.
* This topping is whipped cream with some apple jam stirred through, and a little sour cream (not lite) towards end of the whipping process.
Sweet Cream Cheese Pastry
250g cream cheese
1 cup flour
1 cup SR flour
1/4 cup caster sugar
1-2 TBL chilled water
- Cut butter and cream cheese into small cubes and mix together.
- Add flour, sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Pulse until dough just comes together into a ball.
- Knead dough lightly, approximately 8 pushes until smooth ball forms. Do not over knead as this will make the dough tough.
- Shape dough into a flat disk about the size of a small plate. Wrap in plastic film. Chill for at least an hour. I usually leave for several hours or overnight.
- Roll out to 3-4 mm thickness. I roll out onto cooking parchment. If you lightly dampen the bench the paper will stick and not slide about as you are rolling out the pastry. Roll from the centre of the pastry to the edges, trying to keep the pastry in a round shape.
- Pick the paper up and turn it over as you place the pastry in the greased tin.
- Peel paper from the pastry and adjust pastry to fit tin. Trim edges as required.