Category Archives: Apples

Fruity Friday…Apples!

apples

Did you know that worldwide 7,500 different varieties of apples are grown? My favourite apples are Bramley’s, Cox’s and Braeburn apples which ones are your favourite apples ???

As the saying goes an ” Apple a day keeps the doctor away” and that little round ball of goodness is 2/3 fibre has lots of anti-oxidants especially in the peel so do not peel it…please. They are also fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free and come in all shades of red, green and yellow so many to choose from…Which apple or apples are your favourite????

Apples have been around since at least 6500 BC and used to be called winter bananas or melt in your mouth… Mmmmm, don’t really get that connection…

Who loved doing apple bobbing at Halloween?? Or that party game where you were blindfolded and had your hands behind your back and had to take a bite of the apple sometimes it was a doughnut…But good fun…

Still mainly picked by hand apple growing is called pomology and the apple is a member of the rose family.

The cook in me can tell you that two pounds of apples will make a 9” pie…that apples ripen 6-10 times faster kept at room temperature than if you refrigerate them.

Apples go well with many dishes and recipes I mean you cannot have roast pork without applesauce or coleslaw without apple my mum used to make wonderful pancakes with slices of apple in the batter and her apple pie was also the best ever… I am still trying to bake a pie as good as my mum’s.

apple- pie

Apple Pie

Here are some of my favourite recipes using apples…Starting with coleslaw…

There are so many permutations of this dish and all wonderful in their own way…My version, 5 ingredients plus mayo and you have a beautiful slaw to eat with anything…

I add no sugar as carrots and apples have their own natural sweetness.

So….Lets Cook!

 Shred half a white cabbage or red or half and half.

Peel and quarter at least one apple and then slice thinly.

Grate or dice a carrot.

Put in a bowl, add some mayo,  pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and a good squeeze of fresh lemon /lime juice.

apples- white cabbage-carrots

Apple Coleslaw

Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge may be covered until the next day but I just make it as I want it so easy to make enough for 1 or 10.

Enjoy!

Applesauce is one of the easiest sauces to make and can be used in so many different ways.

apple-sauce-544676_1280

To make applesauce just peel your apples add a tiny bit of water and depending on which apples you are using you can add a little sugar…I don’t…Sometimes I add some cloves, cinnamon stick it depends…Cook until softened and then you can puree if you like a smooth sauce or just roughly mash it or leave it as it is…

Applesauce pureed is a lovely food for babies when they first start eating solids maybe mix a little with rice or porridge for them.

*You can use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg in most baking recipes. Some say to mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. If all you have is sweetened applesauce, then simply reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. Applesauce is also a popular healthy replacement for oil in many baked goods.

N.B I haven’t used applesauce as an egg substitute myself…Have you????

I love baked apples which is something my mum used to make filled with sultanas and baked in the oven she also used to cover the apple in suet pasty and make a suet apple pudding… All served with a bowl full of custard…I have happy childhood memories of these and although I don’t make the suet pudding we do love a baked apple like the one below and equally as lovely without the custard…

Ingredients:

• 4 large apples cored – any type except Granny smith which do not bake well
• 4 teaspoons unsalted butter cut in tiny cubes
• 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger or you could use fresh ginger very finely chopped or grated.
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• brown sugar to taste
• ½ cup apple cider ( I used ACV as I couldn’t get apple cider)

Let’s Cook!

Place your cored apples in an ovenproof dish. Mix the butter, walnuts and spices together and add to the centre of the apples.

Pour your apple cider into the dish to stop the apples catching the bottom of the dish.

Bake on 350F/177C or gas mark 4 for 45 to 60 minutes depending on your apples…Baste the apples every 15 minutes.

To Serve: These can be served with custard, ice cream or a dairy-free coconut cream whip.

This was a lovely dessert and I think using Apple cider vinegar instead of cider took away the sweetness of the apple it was really nice.

What is your favourite childhood memories of eating apples????

My mum’s apple pie recipe…

apple pie-2760064_1280

To serve: Add a squirt of cream or some lovely clotted cream if you can get it, custard or a scoop of lovely Cornish ice cream.

Watching the calories then top the apple with some meringue ..very nice or add a crumble mix my recipe for crumble made separately is very nice and you could add as little as you like just a spoonful layered into a glass gives that little bit of added crunch.

Ton Mon-mulberries

Thai Mulberries

 Apple and Mulberry Crumble

What else are apples used for ?? Apple juice, Apple cider vinegar Cider, Apple vinegar all of which have many health benefits and uses… Just be careful if you buy apple juice that it is not loaded with loads of sugar and other nasties which those sneaky drinks companies put in everything…Don’t get me started…lol and if it’s cider( scrumpy) moderation is the name…

I hope you have enjoyed this post on the humble little apple…x

Stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as you know what I am going to say it is Free and proven to be good for your health…..Laughter aside…My thoughts and prayers are with all the people who have been or will be touched by this Covid-19 virus…the new lockdowns and restrictions..stay safe be aware and social isolate where required and we will beat this thing…xx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and although there are now no regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post  …Happy Baking! xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Recipes… Lighter Puddings

christmas-1695531_1920

Day 5 on the Christmas countdown and today I have some lighter puddings for you as I know some either don’t like or can’t eat a Christmas Pudding…

I always make a Fresh fruit salad and anything goes in whatever is in season and I have some lovely choice of some lovely  exotic fruits to choose from here but wherever you live check out your fruit section and I am sure you will find something exotic there and you only need one if it is a dragon fruit or something which can be expensive but they are quite big so only one would be required the only fruit I don’t use and not because I don’t like it but just because the texture isn’t right for a fruit salad is the banana but you could always make a lovely banan split and that would be a lovely alternative to a rich, Christmas pudding wouldn’t it?

The beauty of a fresh fruit salad is that you can make it as large or as small as you like one portion or ten. You can use any fruit that you have and it can different every time.

fruit-2305192_1920

The one I always make is very simple I use Oranges, Apples, Grapes, Pear, and section and slice them and add lemon/ lime juice to stop the fruit going brown.

Sometimes I  also add some freshly squeezed orange juice or other fruit juice.

This is now when it gets interesting as you can add a little freshly grated ginger, some crushed lemongrass even treat yourself to one of those exotic fruits you have seen in your local shop or farmers market just to liven it up, change it.

Maybe even a touch of chilli???

Some sesame seeds? Some poppy seeds?? Just sprinkled over the top of your serving???

If I use a soft fruit like melon,  mango, strawberries, peaches, apricots, watermelon or kiwi then I put those in about 15 mins before I serve the fruit salad. Otherwise, they can go too mushy and we like our fruit salad fresh and vibrant, nice and crisp.

And of course here I have access to plenty of fresh pineapples, Lychees and Dragon fruit are plentiful and in season here at the moment so into the mix they go…What is your favourite fruit salad mix???

To jazz it up a bit put your salad into a hollowed out pineapple skin… and make like a little boat…

pineapple-boat-575802_1280

You can use any combination of fruit that you like just make sure you use lemon/ lime

juice to stop the fruit from discolouring and keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

It can be served quite simply with fresh cream or clotted cream if you can get it…

Ice cream there are now so many flavours to choose from or make your own or add some chilli to the chocolate ice cream or as my hubby prefers just a good old fashioned custard.

Serve it with your porridge oats or other cereal with natural yoghurt… the possibilities are endless… Have fun when you make one and try different fruits.

Enjoy!

Banana Split

banana-split-2701128_1920

Now as you know I get bananas by the cartload here and as it’s Christmas then treat yourself just split a banana and create a culinary masterpiece… Ice cream of your choice and why not mix the flavours, some whipped cream or mascarpone and a sauce, chocolate, salted caramel or my favourite a lovely raspberry coulis… Maybe some little marshmallows or some pieces of meringue…Go wild and have fun!

Christmas comes but once a year!

How about a lovely whole baked apple…I remember my dear mummy making these and I used to love them… In fact, I haven’t had one for years…

apple-1883934_1920

Just stuff with some dried fruits, sultanas or chopped apricots maybe a little of the sweet mincemeat? Add some cinnamon or mixed spice… Drizzle with some maple syrup or golden syrup and bake until the apple is soft and the juices are running…A lovely light pudding after your Christmas meal…

Just some baked figs with some cheese also make a lovely lighter pudding so many dishes you can make..A pannacotta with fresh fruit?

What dessert do you make for after your Christmas meal?

I love creme brulee or fruit salad…I also love a small piece of Christmas pudding but normally save that for later when my lunch has gone down.

Until tomorrow for more Christmas recipes and ideas…xxx

 

 

Apple Pie

My mum makes the best apple pie in the world…made with Bramley Apples, a few cloves and her amazing melt in the mouth short pastry.

coffee-2760064_1920

Picture source: Pixabay

Make the shortcrust pastry.

I use half fat to flour so for example for 8oz of flour I use 4oz of fat. 

The flour is not same here and very recently when I was comparing items from the UK against the US….I made some startling discoveries of the differences and it has made an instant difference to my cooking especially my pastry…. I will say no more but I had a silent rant!

Again I cannot get the same cooking fat so I use an olive oil based fat and crispo. For this sort of pastry when I want a nice soft pastry I used1/3 olive oil fat and 2/3 crispo.

And cake flour, not all purpose flour, and the difference was remarkable…….mmmm I am still silently ranting…lol

Prepare your pastry making sure you use ice cold water from the fridge and wrap in clingfilm and put in the chiller for at least 20 minutes.

Roll out and line a pie plate or dish.

Some prebake at this point and some don’t …I have done both depending on the time I have or just how I feel.

If I don’t prebake I stand the dish on a baking tray so as to make sure there are no  “soggy bottoms”

Peel and core your apples. If I am using Bramleys or large cooking apples I would use 4 apples any other normal sized eating apples I would use 8 for a pie plate.

 Cook in a pan with a little water until they soften slightly. I like my apples to keep their shape and not be mushy in a pie. But that is down to personal preference. I also add a couple of cloves or nutmeg and cinnamon.

If I use Bramleys I would add a little sugar as we don’t like our filling too sweet but here I cannot get them so I use a new Zealand dessert apple which doesn’t need any added sugar.

Drain off the juice and put into pie base.

cake-597175_1920

Photo source: Pixabay

Roll out remaining pastry and put over the top of the apples. Making sure you crimp the edges. Cut 3 slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Brush the top with a little-beaten egg and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 40/45 mins or until pastry is cooked.

To check just lightly scrape fingernail on edge of pastry and if it crumbles off it is cooked.

If you make individual pies the cooking time is slightly less.

When cooked remove from oven and sprinkle with castor sugar..it is nice mixed with a little cinnamon.

Serve with custard or fresh cream.

Enjoy your slice of pie with a nice cup of tea or coffee..a lovely mid-morning or afternoon treat…Go on you deserve it!