At this time of year, my kitchen work surfaces are covered with piles of apples. Little pyramids of golden cooking apples, tiny rosy red eating apples, giant Bramleys. My family complain. There’s nowhere for anyone to put anything down. I usually store them wrapped in newspaper in the potting shed, but I’m still trying to evict the mice, making many trips back and forth to the woods with my tunnel-like humane traps baited with peanut butter. I can’t kill them. They will take their chances in the leaf litter under the trees. I’m trying to ignore the tawny owl fledglings in the branches above, still being fed by harassed parents. I feel slightly guilty. But watching the mice run when I let them out, I think they stand a fair chance of surviving.
Meanwhile, I’m steadily working my way through the apples. My mother always says, if you’ve got an apple, you’ve got a pudding. It can be an apple pie, a crumble, a cake, or if you are pressed for time, just apple purée with lashings of creamy custard, or Devon clotted cream. A special treat.
Today’s recipe is another family favourite, an apple tray bake which is quick and easy to make and tastes of autumn. As usually, I’m recording it here for my children, in case they can’t find the scraps of paper these recipes are written on. It’s so lovely to see my grandmother’s best copper plate hand writing, as she lovingly wrote these recipes for me. Food, and cooking, bring back such special memories, don’t they.
APPLE AND ALMOND SLICE:
INGREDIENTS – FOR THE TOPPING
30g butter or vegan margarine
30g SR flour
25g golden caster sugar
2 tbsp. Jumbo oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
25g flaked almonds
Mix the butter, flour and sugar together. Fold in the cinnamon, oats and flaked almonds to make a crumble topping. Place in the fridge while you make the base.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BASE
150g SR flour
200g golden caster sugar
200g butter or margarine
3 eggs ( or use 6 tbsp. soya oat drink if vegan)
100g ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 large apples slices and tossed in lemon juice
100g any other fruit you have; blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, plums,
Mix the flour, baking power , sugar and butter together. Whisk. Fold in the ground almonds and cinnamon. Add the beaten eggs.
Put half the mixture in the base of the tin. Put apples on top. Add the rest of the base moisture. Press the blackberries or other fruit on the top.
Cover with the crumble topping mixture.
Cook for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer come out clean.
Gas mark 4, 180C oven, or 160C fan oven.
You’ll need a 20cm tray bake tin, at least 4cm deep, lined with baking parchment.
Put baking paper on top if it is browning too quickly. Leave to cool and slice into fingers.
Can be frozen for 3 months.
You might also like : Review of Orchard Odyssey by Naomi Slade here :
Also The Creative Kitchen by Stephanie Hafferty https://bramblegarden.com/2018/11/18/the-creative-kitchen-book-review/
I’ll leave you with a photo of my 1930s summerhouse, looking autumnal today. There’s heaps of blankets to keep us warm when the temperatures start to dip. It’s quite cosy in here though.