Long gone are the summer fruits like mango and peaches, but the humble apple is at its best. The uses for apples are endless – there’s baking, caramelising, deep-frying (fritters!), poaching, sautéing, sauces or in salads. There is something for everyone.
Buying, storage and preparation
When buying apples look for ones with firm tight skins, free from any obvious marks or bruises. They should have a pleasant aroma and bright skin.
Store apples in a cool, dark place or keep them in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.
To prepare apples, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin, then slice or chop with a small knife. If you need to remove the core, use a melon baller or apple corer. This will do the best job without cutting away any of the apple flesh.
If you are slicing apples to eat fresh, then make sure you toss them in a little lemon or lime juice (otherwise known as acidulated water, which is – 1 cup water to 2 teaspoons lemon juice). This will prevent them from browning.
Apples go well with…
Pears, Cabbage, Onions, Celery, Beetroot, Berries, Celeriac and Parsnips.
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger, Vanilla and Mixed Spice.
Cheddar, Smoked Cheddar, Cottage Cheese, Feta and Goats Cheese.
Caramel, Custard, Honey, Rum, Brandy, Nuts, Pork and Oats.
Quick wintery ideas for apples
Apple butter – Cook peeled chopped apples down until they are light golden and very soft (sweeten to taste), then puree and serve over toast, pancakes or with grilled or roast pork.
Apple turnovers – Sauté apples pieces with a little spice until tender. Cool then enclose in puff pastry. Bake at 200C for 20-25 minutes or until golden and crisp. Serve with custard.
Apple fritters – Core and slice 3 pink lady apples into 4 rings each. Whisk 1 cup self-raising flour with 1 cup mineral or soda water until combined. Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Working with 4 rings at a time. Dip apple slices in batter and carefully place in oil. Cook, turning once, for 3-4 minutes or until golden and crisp. Toss apple fritters in 1/3 cup caster sugar combined with ¾ tsp ground cinnamon.
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