I love this time of year for many reasons, the autumn colours, how beautiful a walk in the woods can be in autumn on a bright clear day like today, and of course I love autumn for apples. We planted some apple trees last year in what was once an orchard but had been long since neglected. There is still an old apple tree that doesn’t bear much fruit. So we have taken the first baby steps to reinstating the orchard. We planted ‘Discovery’, an early fruiting dessert apple and ‘Laxton’s Superb’, which is later and more Cox like. But we have yet to taste them but so I’ll let you know next year….hopefully. Apple trees are great for every garden. There are so many varieties now that there is one for every situation. You can even get multi-grafted apple trees, with at least four varieties of apple, great from a small garden. We went to the Irish Seed Savers recently for an apple-tasting day; it is a wonderful place for anyone interested in apples. I would recommend you go there if you are thinking about buying some trees, which you can plant bare root from November until March. They have a great website with lots of information. Upcoming workshops include Cider Making on the 22nd Oct and Orchard Establishment on the 30th Oct; I believe there are only a few places left on that one.
Back to the kids! If you have a glut of apples or have been give a large box of them from your generous mother-in-law, then here is a great recipe for you to make with your kids. My four year old adores crumble and he is just a topper when it comes to making it. This is a very simple crumble recipe and it will give you a gold, delicious, crisp topping without fail!
Ingredients: Roughly equal measures of plain flour, sugar and butter. So depending on the size of your dish, you can increase of decrease your measures. You will get away with less butter, so for this recipe I used 3oz plain flour, 3oz granulated sugar and 2.5oz butter (fairly cold).
Preheat over to 190 Celsius (or 200 if not a fan over)
Simply, add ingredients to your mixing bowl and rub between your fingers to make crumbs. Children can do this easily, but tell them to try not to squash it into a ball!
Peel and slice your cooking apples, put in your oven-proofed dish, sprinkle with generous amounts of sugar (all the apples should be covered, but taste them to see how sour they are). Sprinkle crumble on top. It shouldn’t be overly thick.
Bake for 25mins approx or until golden and bubbling. Be careful taking it out of the oven. Serve with whipped cream, custard or vanilla ice cream.
Sit back, put the feet up and let the whole family enjoy a taste of autumn!