This week the food industry celebrates World Apple Day, and with 7,500 varieties of apple produced across the globe, it’s no wonder that these juicy fruits have their own day dedicated to them.
This star of Autumn cuisine ranges from the sweet and crisp gala apple to the tart and firm Granny Smith, and their occasion has grown from humble origins in London’s Covent Garden in the 1990s into a national event, with food fans sharing recipes and advice on how to grow apples properly.
So in celebration of World Apple Day, we’re paying homage to the versatility of the seasonal fruit and exploring how you can use it across your menu this Autumn and Winter…
Top Tip! To prevent your apples from browning, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a gallon of water. Place sliced apples in this mixture for 5 minutes, then drain. Cover and hold cold until ready to serve. This will prevent them from browning for up to 3 days and does not alter the taste.
Apple Breakfast Ideas
Stewed Apple Porridge
Porridge is such a customisable dish, you can dress up with just about anything – fruits, seeds, nut butters, a big spoonful of nutella for sweet tooths. But as the cold dark mornings creep in, it’s something seriously warm and comforting that will make your breakfast offerings stand out from the crowd. Something like… stewed apple porridge.
Put peeled and diced Bramley apples (the UKs favourite) in a saucepan with a teaspoon of cinnamon, some water and a few tablespoons of maple syrup. Bring the mix to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.
Once the apples are stewed, stir them into some creamy porridge made with a combination of milk and water for at least a minute.
For full ingredients, measures, servings and more information, check out the original recipe, from Unconditionally Nourished, here.
Apple pancakes really epitomise the cosiness and warmth of the festive season – so perfect them now before Christmas kicks in.
To make them, add melted butter, an egg (or eggs – depending on how many pancakes you’re making), milk and shredded tart apple to a bowl. In another bowl, sift plain flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and a tablespoon or 2 of white sugar. Transfer the mixed dry ingredients into the same bowl as the wet ingredients and stir.
On a medium to high heat, heat some oil in a pan and tip in your pancake mixture, using as much as you desire depending on the thickness and shape of the pancakes. And be sure to drizzle them with lashings of syrup!
For full ingredients, measures, servings and more information, check out the original recipe, at all recipes, here.
Apple Lunch Ideas
Sweet Potato & Apple Latkes with a Tahini Lemon Drizzle
Latkes is another term for what is essentially a pan-fried potato fritter – some may call it a savoury pancake. They’re perfect for spicing up your lunch menu and making use of seasonal ingredients.
Whisk together 3 tablespoons of tahini, a tablespoon of honey and the juice of at least 1 lemon to create the tahini lemon drizzle. Add water if you need to thin out the sauce.
For every 4 latkes you’ll need to grate a large sweet potato and an apple into a mixing bowl, squeezing as much liquid out as possible, and transfer to a clean bowl. Add half a diced onion, a tablespoon of salt, a tablespoon of arrowroot powder, 2 tablespoons of spelt flour, a tablespoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of turmeric and a grating of fresh pepper and mix everything together.
Heat a little olive oil in a pan over a medium to high heat and a quarter of the latke batter and form a flat round patty to add to the pan. Cook for 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. Repeat until the mixture is used and serve hot and topped with plenty of the tahini lemon drizzle.
Find full ingredients, measures, servings and more information here.
Chorizo, Apple & Rice Salad
Simultaneously healthy and hearty, this chorizo apple and rice salad provides the fullness that a summer salad will not, and is sophisticated enough to appeal to even the most discerning of foodies.
To make it, preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius, then heat a pan of chopped chorizo sausages and diced red onions on medium-high heat (the oils in the chorizo will be enough to cook the onions). Add diced red pepper and a pinch of salt. sauté for a couple of minutes and then turn off the heat before adding at least one and a half chopped Granny Smith apples, half a teaspoon of thyme and the juice from a medium orange. If using a heatproof pan, place it directly in the oven – otherwise transfer the mixture into a baking dish and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
Once cooked, in a large bowl mix white or wild rice with the baked sausage and apples and add uncooked chunks of Granny Smith apple. Season with salt and pepper, chopped chives and lemon juice.
For full ingredients, measures, servings and more information, head to Healthy Nibbles and Bits for the original recipe, here.
Apple Dinner Ideas
Cider, Apple & Sausage Casserole
File this one under comfort food – a delicious casserole that’s rich and autumnal with a hint of sweetness.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Chop and peel carrots, onions, new potatoes (these should be chopped in quarters) and cooking apples.
Over a medium-high heat fry pork sausages in vegetable oil in a large ovenproof pan until the sausages are brown on each side, then remove to a plate. In the same pan fry the apples, onions, carrots and new potatoes over medium heat until slightly softened, then stir in flour and cook for a couple of minutes until everything is browned. Put the sausages back into the pan with a teaspoon of freshly chopped sage and a good grind of black pepper. Pour in apple cider, stir, cover with a lid and then place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Serve with some delicious crusty bread to mop up the juices.
For full ingredients, measures, servings and more information, head to Farmers Girl Kitchen for the original recipe, here.
Parsnip & Apple Soup with Black Lentils and Vegetable Crisps
This one should rocket straight to the top of vegetarians and vegans menus – a nourishing soup that uses seasonal produce.
In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil, then add chopped white onions and sauté until translucent. Add a few minced garlic cloves and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add parsnips and apples cut into chunks along with a teaspoon of curry powder and stir to ensure everything is coated for a couple more minutes. Add a litre of vegetable stock and simmer for 30 minutes, until the parsnips are soft.
Using a blender, blend the soup until smooth. This soup is naturally quite thick so keep adding vegetable stock until you reach your desired consistency.
Finally, mix in cooked black lentils, sliced spring onion, parsley, chilli flakes and root vegetable crisps for visual flair.
Apple Pudding Ideas
Cast Iron Apple Crisp
Serving a pudding in a cast iron dish can’t fail to give it wow factor, and these sweet and buttery apple crisps will go perfectly with ice cream or whipped cream.
To start, preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. For the filling, wash, peel, core and cube your apples and place in a large mixing bowl – an assortment of apple varieties works best. Over an iron skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter on low heat, and once melted, whisk in brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, and a dash of salt. Pour the mixture into the mixing bowl and toss until the apples are coated. Add the apples into the skillet and sit on medium heat until the apples begin to soften. Remove the pan from the heat.
For the topping cut cold, unsalted butter into small chunks and place in a mixing bowl along with some oats, flour, brown sugar, and a teaspoon of salt and mix thoroughly. Pour this mixture over the top of the apples in the skillet as evenly as possible and then sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Bake for 40 minutes until the apples are tender and the topping is crunchy.
Find full ingredients, measures, servings and the original recipe here.
Health benefits of apples
Another great reason to add apples to your menu – they’re super healthy! Yes, these juicy fruits provide us with a range of health benefits, from being a great source of fibre to containing a range of vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients which help our hearts, lower risk of diabetes and promote good gut health.
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