Edmond’s Cookbook Apple Sauce

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Pork and porridge.  It’s not too often you get these two together, but they are both delicious with a little applesauce, no?

Admittedly, my first thought on arriving at Apple Sauce in the Edmonds Cookbook (apart from no, not more apples) was ho-hum.  Apple sauce eh?  What can you do with that? It looks a bit like snot, therefore not particularly photogenic.  There’s not a lot of excitement in making it either.

 

This was all a little unfair and some internet browsing has piqued my interest.  Preparing apple-based sauces goes back to medieval Europe and many cuisines have their own version.  Check out this recipe for Norwegian apple sauce with rye cinnamon crumbs and yoghurt.  Oh my, wouldn’t that be a lovely sight to greet you for breakfast!  Or, this recipe for Danish applesauce (‘æblegrød’) with cream!

So you can imagine I embarked on my Applesauce with a little more excitement after this.  It’s very easy  and a very good way to use up any apples that are past their best and loitering in the fruit bowl.  I’ve been enjoying it with my morning oats, greek yoghurt and a little dusting of cinnamon, which is a very nice way to start the day indeed.

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Ingredients:

  • 3-4 apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 T water
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 cloves or some lemon juice
  • Sugar

Put all ingredients in a pan and simmer over a low heat, until the apples are ‘pulped.’   I have not come across this expression before, so I took it to mean ‘mushy’!

At this point, Edmonds instructs beating it with a fork until smooth.  Being a softer City-girl, I used a stick blender rather than a fork and elbow grease, which gave a nice smooth finish.

This keeps well in the fridge for several days, covered with a little cling film.

 

 

Apple Coconut Flan by Edmonds

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How do you like them apples?  That’s how I feel I should be addressing you, because we really have had a lot of apply recipes by this point in the Edmonds A section.  But I love a good flan and this little number is easy and satisfying, so it’s worth a try if you like the sound of it.  d

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It all beings with a packet of Edmonds butter cake mix.  I haven’t bought cake mix for years. It gives me a little guilty pang and I feel like I should be making my own from scratch.  One of the last times I used cake mix was a formative baking experience back in the mists of time.  I had to produce a cake for Girls Brigade and Mum, sick with the flu and no doubt not feeling up to chaperoning a junior baker in the kitchen, bought me an orange cake mix.  I proudly presented the finished product to the family table and Mum, who probably wanted to eat anything else in the world apart from a vivid orange pile of stodge crafted by a 10 year old, gallantly rose from bed and forced down a bowlful.  Being the anxious kid I was, I decided then and there if anything happened to Mum I would always remember that moment.  Probably a little hysterical on my part (I always was a worrier) but it was a very touching moment nonetheless and I still appreciate her sucking it up for the sake of my feelings.

IMG_3652If you want to make this Apple Coconut Flan, you will need:

  • 1 packet Edmonds Butter Cake Mix
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 125g butter
  • 2 cups stewed apple
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Set the oven to 180 degrees celsius.  Combine the coconut and cake mix in a bowl.  Edmonds offers you the choice of doing this by hand or with a food processor.  I don’t think you need a food processor, I did this by hand very easily.

Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  In another bowl, combine the stewed apple and lemon rind and put in the bottom of a greased, oven-proof baking dish.  Spoon the cake mixture over the apples, and then combine the water and lemon juice and pour this over the top.  Bake for 55 minutes or until pale golden and firm to touch.  You can serve this hot or cold.

The apple in my version caramelised rather charmingly at the corners of the dish and the coconut toasted up a little in the topping.  We had ours semi-warmed with some yoghurt and it went down a treat, I hope particularly for my Mum.

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Edmonds Apple Bread

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You may be a bit tired of my Winter and Autumn range of stodgy, warming things that include root crops and apples, and trust me, I’m just tired of Winter, but this is quite a pleasing little loaf and really easy to make.  Don’t be put off by the ‘bread’ in the title, it doesn’t involve any of that pesky rising or kneading and no yeast goes near it, it’s really more of a cakey loaf in a bread shape.

I would really love to bring you an interesting little history on Apple Bread, but truth is, I can’t find much (so anyone who can fill us all in would be most appreciated, comments below please).  Recipes for Apple Bread appear on a number of US-based sites for home-style or pioneer baking and sometimes it is referred to as Dutch, so perhaps this is where it has its origins.  I suspect its inclusion in the Edmonds book is because it makes good use of something that grows well in this neck of the woods  and is easy to whip up quickly, should you be caught unawares when Doris from over the fence pops over for a cuppa.

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I decided to bake this on a Monday night when I was in a bit of a frump (a cross between grumpy and frazzled) and it met the requirements of providing soothing sifting and mixing activities and a nice smell of baking throughout the house.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I find baking transforms a bad mood into a feeling of satisfaction and peace very quickly.

It only calls for a few ingredients, and all things you are likely to have to hand:

  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup grated apple
  • 1 to 1+1/2 cups milk, approximately

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease a 22cm loaf tin.  Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.  Stir in sugar and add the apple and enough milk to make a smooth, soft dough, mixing it together quickly.

Place into the tin and bake for 1 hour or until the base of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  You are instructed to wrap it up in a tea towel until cold.

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This makes a sturdy little loaf with flecks of apple throughout.  It’s very satisfying for breakfast, and particularly nice with a little butter or jam.  I suspect it would nicely with a little cheese or chutney too.

Happy eating ’til next time.

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Spiced apple and ginger loaf

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Every Autumn when I start spying lovely plump pears, plums and apples, thoughts of warming fruity goodies are not far behind.  This particular little loaf I’m bringing you today has been a long time in the making.  It first starting flitting about the corners of my mind a few years ago, when the aforementioned greedy Autumnal thoughts lead me to this delicious chocolate and pear cake. So this Autumn, finding my fruit bowl running over with many sweet little apples, I began hankering after something upside down-y involving apples.

It has taken a little experimenting, but I am happy to settle on this combination of slightly spicy ginger loaf topped with apples.  Upside down fruit-topped baking, I have concluded, needs a reasonably hefty cake to support it, and ginger loaf is up to the task.  I used this ginger loaf recipe as a base with some tweaking of my own, including a little wholemeal flour to give it some extra muscle.  And also because I love wholemeal flour.

For this spiced apple and ginger loaf you will need:

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Apple topping:

  • 1 apple (I like Braeburn for this)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Ginger loaf:

  • 50g butter
  • 1 Tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup milk

Butter your loaf tin.  Peel your apple if you like, although I prefer mine with a little bit of skin.  Quarter the apple and cut each quarter into thin slices.  Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle into the bottom of the loaf tin.  Lay the apple slices in top of this mixture and set aside.

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Melt the butter and golden syrup together in a large saucepan.  Add the egg and the sugar and mix in.  Then add all the other dry ingredients except for the baking soda.  Mix the baking soda into the milk and then add this to the mixture.

Pour the ginger loaf mixture into the tin, on top of the apples.

Bake for 50 – 55 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.  This may seem like a long time for a little loaf, but the fresh juicy apple slices make the mixture quite moist and mean the loaf needs longer to bake.  Trust me, I have been faced with the sad, sucking noise of turning out under-cooked baking in earlier versions of this apple-topped cake, when I have had less patience with the length of baking time.

Rest the loaf for a few minutes in its tin before running a knife around the edges and gently turning upside down.

The apple keeps this loaf tasty and moist. It can be a little prone to breaking up, so you may like to use a spoon, particularly if you fancy this warm with some vanilla ice-cream.  This, I can recommend.

Happy baking.

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Strawberry and apple tart

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I have come into possession of two fruity items this week – a lovely big batch of stewed apples courtesy of my sister, and a tin of strawberries.

Yes, tinned strawberries, what a strange thing indeed.  I found them in the supermarket on special for 99 cents per tin and I figured I was prepared to part with 99 cents to satisfy my curiosity.  This, I thought, could either be great or horrible.

I find the way they look a little alarming to be honest.  I think it’s all that pinkness and bulbousness.

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When in possession of a large amount of stewed apples and a tinned strawberry curiosity itch, the only appropriate avenue is to consider  baking.  I know strawberries are a summer fruit, and apples an autumn one, but strawberry and apple tart had a nice ring to it.  Our current Spring certainly has a very in-between, mixed up feel, so I think playing around with seasonal produce is a fitting response.

You may recall that I am fond of Delia for the classics, and her Fastest Blackberry and Apple Tart appealed as a reliable candidate for my meddling.

I made the tart base as per instructions, duly sifting rubbing in butter, caster sugar, and making a well for the egg (ooh er, it always feels a bit fancy making a well for the egg).

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I lined my lightly greased tin with the tart dough and began layering on the stewed apples (a bit of a deviation, as Delia asks for fresh).  Being stewed apples, they released a fair bit of liquid into the dough, despite my careful draining.   To avoid my tart becoming too sog-tastic, I reverted to Delia’s advice, using fresh apples over about half the tart.

Delia instructs that one scatters the fresh blackberries over the apples.  My slightly waterlogged strawberries did not appear to me the kind of fruit one blithely ‘scatters.’  And so, I lined them up neatly in between the apples, which also satisfied my neat-freakish tendencies.

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I sprinkled the tart with one tablespoon of caster sugar as instructed and put it in the oven for 45 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.

Although I was concerned the liquid from the stewed apples would result in a soggy base, this did not happen and some of the apple juices pooled and caramelised in the corners of the tart in a most pleasing fashion.

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But what you really want to know, I am sure, is how the strawberries fared.  My dear friend and afternoon tea guest and my husband both gave positive reports and I was pleased too.  They held their shape well and combined nicely with the apples and crisp base.

This strawberry and apple tart went down a treat with ice cream, fresh strawberries and a glass of peach juice.  Verdict: would happily make this again, and thumbs up to Delia for the excellent, easy base recipe.