I am on a roll with food for free this autumn. A friend kindly brought round a basket of windfall apples and inspired me to pick some from my own back garden!
Thinking back to my childhood and remembering my mother baking apples in a roasting tin and then squashing them though a food mill, I decided to have ago myself. For an even easier method, simply wash your apples, cut in half horizontally and remove the core using a melon baller and/or apple corer, then place in the largest casserole pot you have. There’s no need to peel the apples or add anything else. However, do remove any bruised parts.
Place in the oven covered at 170°c for approximately 90 minutes, stirring every half an hour (depending on size) until soft and mushy. Allow to cool, then push through a colander or large sieve using a wooden spoon to remove the skins.
You should find the resulting puree to be sufficiently sweet but feel free to add a little sugar should your apples be tart. Store in the fridge for immediate use otherwise, freeze in batches to enjoy later in the year.
The real beauty of this recipe is not just its simplicity, but the intensity of both the flavour and texture compared to stewed apples. There is an added advantage, as you will find the Vitamin C content will be higher compared to peeled and stewed apples. This is for two reasons, firstly Vitamin C is found directly under the apple skin and thus this method really scrapes as close to this as possible. Secondly, Vitamin C is water soluble and will thus leech into water when stewed. The lack of additional water will thus maximise this.
Enough of the nutritional benefits – to use this beautifully green pure puree, simply add it to any dish you like. I particularly love it on my morning porridge (feature picture) and find it works really well with a spoonful of my walnut butter stirred in too – see my ‘nuts about butter’ blog.
Now going back to my childhood – we loved it when my mother served frozen discs of apple puree with whipped cream and nuts – what a treat, we thought! Now, to bring it up to date – I give you ‘frosted apple puree with coconut yogurt, drizzled with date syrup and sprinkled with chopped walnuts’ – certainly a modern treat for vegans, dairy-free diet followers and the health conscious alike.