While apples grow all year round, peak season is autumn and early winter – especially for the British variety.
So there’s never been a better time to get experimenting with the crunchy fruit.
In many ways, apple recipes are the very definition of British comfort food – with apple pie, cake, crumble and tart to name a few.
They are also incredibly versatile and forgiving, so are great for home cooking.
Home-grown British varieities tend to include Gala, Braeburn, Jazz, Cox, Conference pears and English Bramley.
And it’s worth pointing out that Bramley apples, in particular, tend to be the best for cooking and baking – but other types can be swapped in depending on the recipe.
We’ve rounded up three recipes to mark the start of British apple season, which are great for the colder months ahead and for party season.
Apple tarte tatin recipe:
This recipe is courtesy of chef Paul Ainsworth, who serves it with a slice of blue cheese and a glass of chilled Cornish cider.
- 50g unsalted butter
- 50g caster sugar
- 5 pink lady apples
- 1 disc of puff pastry
1. To make the tart, place the slightly soft butter into a copper base pan and spread out across the base, now place the sugar on top of the butter and set aside.
2. Peel the apples and slice both sides off leaving the centre core, now trim the edges of the apple halves.
3. Place the apples into the pan one by one, fanning them around leaving one half for the centre.
4. Place the puff pastry on top of the apples folding down the sides between the apples.
5. To cook the tart, place the pan on the stove to get the caramel going, but don’t take it too far – just so it’s bubbling and golden. Place into the oven at 170°C for 1 hour then leave to cool slightly.
6. Turn out the tart onto a rack and rearrange the tart until it is looking beautiful.
Vegan spiced apple cake recipe:
This planted-based recipe from chef Bettina Campolucci Bordi, who says: ‘This is hands down my favourite cake recipe. The apples, the brown sugar and the caramelisation of both is a match made in heaven. It also happens to be gluten-free.’
- 200g almond flour
- 3 tablespoons buckwheat flour
- 250 ml plant milk
- 125 ml maple syrup
- 125 ml melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 vanilla pod (bean), split and the seeds scraped out, or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract pinch of pink Himalayan salt
For the topping
- 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 apples, unpeeled and cored, then quartered and sliced into thin half-moons
- Vanilla custard
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas 4). Line a 20 cm (8 inch) cake pan with baking parchment or use a good-quality silicone mould.
2. Add all the cake ingredients to a food processor and blitz for about 5 minutes until everything is well incorporated. Pour the mixture into the cake pan.
3. For the topping, mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl, then sprinkle a layer of the mixture over the cake. Arrange the apples neatly to cover the top of the cake, then sprinkle the remaining sugar and cinnamon over the apples.
4. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes. Switch the oven off and leave the cake to sit in the oven for a further 15 minutes.
5. Remove the cake from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once cooled pop the cake out of the pan onto a serving plate.
Charred hispi, yoghurt, apple salsa and bergamot
Want to impress at your next dinner party? Try this seasonal recipe from Selin Kiazim of Oklava.
- 1 hispi cabbage
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 50g (1¾oz) unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp dried chilli (red pepper) flakes (pul biber, preferably)
- 1 apple, diced
- 50g (1¾oz) almonds, toasted and chopped
- 1 small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely shredded
- sea salt flakes (kosher salt)
- Vinegar (red, white, apple cider or moscatel)
- 1 bergamot
For the yoghurt sauce
- 2 rbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 banana shallots, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 100ml (3½fl oz) white wine
- 150ml (5fl oz) double (heavy) cream
- 5 tbsp thick yoghurt
1. To make the sauce, in a small pan, add the extra-virgin olive oil and warm over a medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring every few minutes, for 15 minutes or until the shallots are a deep golden brown. Add the garlic, thyme and a little salt and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook until the liquid has reduced by two thirds. Add the double (heavy) cream and reduce by another third, stirring the pan every few minutes. Take the pan off the heat and leave for 5 minutes.
2. Pour the mix into a blender, add the yoghurt and immediately blitz to form a smooth sauce, adjusting the seasoning if necessary. Keep warm but don’t let the sauce boil, or it will split. Then, heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7.
3. Remove any dark green outer leaves from the cabbage and cut it into 4 wedges. Cut away most of the stalk but leave a little so the wedge stays intact. You can either roast these on a baking sheet or cook them in a pan in the oven – the latter is my preferred method to ensure charred edges. In a large, ovenproof frying pan (skillet) add a little olive oil and place over a high heat.
4. Add the cabbage wedges to the pan and season with fine salt. Cook until browned on one side, flip over to the other edge and then place the whole pan in the oven. Cook for 10–15 minutes or until the cabbage is soft. You can test this by inserting a skewer or the tip of a small knife in the thickest part to see if it comes out easily.
5. Melt the butter in a small pan and continue to cook over a gentle heat until it turns golden brown. Take off the heat, strain through a fine sieve and then add the dried chilli (red pepper) flakes.
6. In a small bowl, combine the apple with the almonds, parsley and a pinch of sea salt flakes. Dress with olive oil and vinegar to your liking.
7. Spoon the yoghurt sauce onto a plate, top with a cabbage wedge, scatter over the salsa, pour over a little chilli butter and then, finally, finely grate over the zest of the bergamot.
Apple meringue recipe:
This recipe is from chef Richard Corrigan at Bentley’s and is an easy-yet-impressive dessert to whip out when people are over.
For the meringue
- 140g egg whites
- 260g sugar
- 1 tsp corn flour
- 10ml white wine vinegar
For the lime curd
- 100g sugar
- 120ml lime juice
- 3 eggs
- 50g butter
- 100g mascarpone
For the lime and apple pickle
- Juice of 3 limes
- 30g sugar
- 1 tbsp tapioca
- 100ml water
- 2 Granny Smith apples (cut into 0.5cm dices)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 90°C.
2. To make the meringue, whisk the egg whites on a high speed, slowly adding in the sugar a spoonful at a time.
3. Continue to whisk until the mix becomes stiff, then add the vinegar and cornflour.
4. Place into piping bags and pipe into large domes and bake in the oven at 90°C for 1 hour.
5. Meanwhile, make the lime curd by placing the sugar, eggs and lime juice into a bowl and whisk.
6. Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water and cook until the mixture thickens.
7. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the cold butter by whisking it in bit by bit. Then let it cool.
8. When the mix is cool, whisk in the mascarpone and set aside.
9. Gently simmer the lime juice, tapioca, sugar and water until it thickens to a syrup consistency.
10. Pass all the tapioca seeds and add the apples into the pan. Bring to the boil, remove from heat and leave to cool.
11. Assemble, allowing one meringue per person, piping the lime curd and distributing the apple pickle.
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