Autumn is all about simple, nourishing comfort food and one pot dishes. This simple, baked apple recipe is for my late father, who spoke French beautifully, even with a lilting Scottish accent! I was born in French speaking Montreal, and came back to England as a tiny baby. Imagine my delight then, when I discovered a box of rather plump, golden flushed, organic, La Reinette du Canada apples, grown by nuns on the Isle of Wight.
Every year, I look forward with excitement to the local apple harvest. Forget exotic sharon fruit, mangoes, papaya or kiwi fruits. Nothing beats eating an apple that is grown in our ancient orchards up and down the land, and doesn’t taste cloyingly sweet or even worse, taste of nothing at all! Apples need to be grown in healthy soil and carefully nurtured to bear delicious, distinctive fruit.
La Reinette is a russet style eating apple, which has an earthy, almost pineapple taste. It is a regal, pale, yellow gold in colour and originates from France. This apple variety was introduced to England in the 18th Century, and is directly related to the Orange Pippin. It pairs well with cheddar and goats cheese, and is completely fabulous when baked and stuffed with dried fruits and nuts and served with a dollop of organic Greek yogurt or clotted cream – yummy. The sparkler is an optional Ethical Hedonist flourish! If you are going to follow suit, please do be careful around children and pets.
1 medium to large cooking apple per person
An assortment of nuts and cranberries for the filling
Greek yogurt or clotted cream and organic blueberries
Organic or wildcrafted honey
Head to your nearest farmers market, WI produce market or farm shop and ask for local cooking apples. Look out for interesting indigenous varieties, or imported varieties. Bramley apples are excellent too when baked.
Gently prick them all over, to stop them exploding in the oven.
Place on a shallow baking tray and bake for 15- 20 minutes at 180 or Gas mark 5.
Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then carefully cut the top off each apple, scoop out the flesh and mix with nuts and dried fruit, cranberries work really well with apples. Return the mixture to the baked apple and replace the lid. Drizzle with organic or wildcrafted honey or coconut nectar and serve with organic yogurt or clotted cream.
Enjoy – the taste of an authentic, slow food autumn! This recipe is gluten free. If you are dairy free, substitute the clotted cream for cashew cream.