A few weeks ago, I had a funny thought while trying to make an apple pie. Despite probably making hundreds of pies in my lifetime, I had absolutely no idea what kind of apples to buy to cook with, as I’d never had to buy them before. I realised quite how lucky I was – how many people grow up being able to go into the garden to find an endless supply of fruit over the summer and autumn months? My parents garden is filled with apple trees, so September for me has always been a month of picking, foraging and collecting, before peeling, preparing, boiling and cooking.
I went out to find some cookers and couldn’t resist snapping some pictures. It might be early in the season but the grass is already littered with golden crispy leaves, dotted with red and green jewels of early falling fruit. I tried to gather some up, but Daisy clearly had other ideas.
My funny furry old lady has a thing for apples. She’s discovered our secret, that amongst the grass at the bottom of the garden is hidden treasure. Juicy, sweet gems ready for eating, although slightly more delicious for humans when cooked up in a crumble. Much to Daisy’s delight, I’d filled a basket ready for her to take her pick.
Our new garden is sadly without any fruit trees, so I’m making the most of the ones I can find! We’ve always spent the autumn boiling down the apples with a little bit of sugar and cinnamon into a delicious stew, and then freezing them to heat up on cold evenings to warm the soul.
There’s something pretty special about being able to wander outside to find something to eat, and to find something you can share with the dog too!
Stewed apple is in my opinion, the best thing to do with english apples. It has many wonderful uses: the obvious choices of pies or crumbles, or apple sauce, or bake it into cakes and loaves. It lasts for months in the freezer, so it’s a great time of year to get preparing to make sure you’ve got a good stash ready for the winter!