Bramleys: fruit of the month!

Bramley apples / Photo: Red58Bill

Bramley apples / Photo: Red58Bill - Credit: Archant

Evelyn Curtis talks apples, offering a few of her favourite recipes featuring the much-loved Bramley

Apple Day will be celebrated throughout the country this month, with the traditional Bramley Apple topping the list. There’s no better time than now to cook with apples, in fact, I think every family should sit down to an apple pie, crumble or a delicious Brown Betty at this time of the year - at least once a week!

And although it’s the peak time of the year for homegrown produce, with hints of autumn to come, we can still enjoy the final bounty of summer with fat juicy tomatoes and the last of the Scottish raspberries. So this month I will be celebrating Apple Day with some delicious Bramley apple recipes for you to cook and enjoy.

West Country Sausage and Apple Pie

Serves 4-6

When I lived in Somerset this pie was always a good standby at our village Harvest Supper, and I usually make at least two so that I can have one in the freezer as a standby meal.

Ingredients:

Most Read

450g puff or short crust pastry

450g sausage meat

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs, or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs

1 medium Bramley apple, peeled and sliced.

2 heaped tablespoons chutney (or Branston sandwich pickle).

Seasoning.

Method:

Roll out the pastry to line a 9inch tin or shallow oven proof dish.

Reserve the trimmings for the lattice top.

Mix together the sausage meat, onion, herbs and some seasoning.

Fill the pastry case with this mixture, pressing down to level it off.

Spread the top with the chutney, then arrange the apple slices to cover the chutney.

Roll out the trimmings from the pastry and cut into strips, lattice or criss cross these strips over the filling.

Brush with beaten egg to glaze.

Place in the middle of the oven 350F, 180C, Gas Mark 4 for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve with green salad or sauté potatoes.

Will freeze raw or cooked.

Bramley Apple and Pork Bake

Serves 4.

Method:

Take 450g potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges, and 6 shallots peeled.

Place in a roasting tin and toss with 4 whole garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Season to taste and bake at 350F, 180C, Gas Mark 4 for 15-20minutes.

Stir in 450g peeled and cored Bramley apples.

Lay 4 pork steaks on top and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried herbs.

Return to the oven for 20-30minutes until pork is crisp and cooked through.

Serve with green vegetables of your choice.

Blackberry and Apple Meringue

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

25g pudding rice.

50g granulated sugar.

110g caster sugar.

110g blackberries.

425ml milk.

1 large Bramley apple.

2 egg whites.

Method:

Put rice, milk and ½ oz sugar into a saucepan and bring slowly to the boil.

Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently until most of the milk is absorbed.

Leave to cool.

Meanwhile put the blackberries into a pan and let the juices run.

Peel, core and slice the apple and add to blackberries.

Cook until soft, adding 1oz of sugar.

Leave to cool.

Spoon the fruit mixture into an oven proof dish, cover with the cooked rice and sprinkle the remaining sugar over.

Whisk egg whites until stiff, then whisk in half the caster sugar.

Fold in the remaining caster sugar.

Spread meringue over fruit and rice mixture and cook for 15 minutes at 375F, 190C.

Gas Mark 5 until golden brown.

Serve cold.

For quickness a tin of rice pudding could be used.

Apple and Sultana Cake

Ingredients:

350g self-raising flour.

225g butter.

175g soft brown sugar.

450g diced Bramley apples.

110g sultanas.

3 large eggs.

Topping:

2 tablespoons Demerara sugar.

1 tsp ground cloves, optional.

Method:

Rub butter into flour and beat in eggs one at a time.

Fold in sultanas and apples.

Turn into a well-greased 20.5cm (8 inch) cake tin and sprinkle the top of the cake with the sugar and cloves.

Bake in the centre of a preheated oven 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4 for approximately 1-1¼ hours.

To serve cut into slices spread with a little butter, or serve as a pudding with whipped cream.

This recipe came from my book My Kind of People, My Kind of Cooking.

In season this month...

Root crops are really coming in this month – Swede and turnips are great with the warming stews of autumn. Brussels sprouts too.

For October, my fish man recommends: brill, cod, haddock halibut, whiting and turbot, but the most economical fish of the month is probably the autumn herring.

We have pheasant this month, which can be difficult to roast without drying out, so try steaming two birds in a large Pyrex bowl, seasoning well, and putting bowl into a pan of boiling water. When cooked after two or three hours, flash the birds under a hot grill to brown. Plums and damson are no longer good for uncooked eating, but they are still fine for crumbles and pies. Sprinkle the new season cobs and hazelnuts onto a crumble mix to give a tasty crunchy tasty topping.

Look out for your nearest local Apple Day event.