A visit to any produce market at the moment will be met with a selection of apples in different colours and varieties. I have shared before my appreciation for the older apple varieties, particularly for use in cooking. Varieties such as Cox’s Orange, Sturmer Pippin, Russets and Boskoop are among my favourites to look out for (of course there are many more).
The flavour of heritage apples is more complex, often tarter than modern eating apples, and once cooked their flesh softens like a fluffy mousse. They are just wonderful to eat. Heritage apple trees can sometimes be found as wilding trees in public parks, or along river banks and roadsides (the margins). This is free fruit for all as long as you follow the rules of foraging – take a little for yourself and leave some for others.
In Te Tauihu / Top of the South, we have a wonderful resource called the Nelson Marlborough Fruit Map. This is a comprehensive Google map to locate public fruit and nut trees around the region. I am sure there must be similar information for other areas. More and more I notice edibles being planted on public land – essentially free food for all. Get out and see what you can find in your hood, you might just come home with some edible treasures.
More Apple recipes on Homegrown Kitchen:
- Baked Apples with Date Crumble
- Apple, Chamomile & Lemon Loaf
- Golden Sausage & Apple Casserole – winter favourite meal with fluffy mash
- Apple Pancakes with Cinnamon Honey Caramel
Apple, Walnut & Lemon Cake
- 120 g room temp butter
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup (120g) natural yoghurt
- 1 cup (150g) plain flour (can use gluten-free flour mix)
- 1/2 cup (70g) wholemeal flour (or ground almonds for GF)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup (70g) walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 large cooking apples such as Granny Smith (about 300g), peeled and cut into 1cm chunks
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 180C (fan 160C). Grease and line a 22cm round cake tin.
- In a stand mixer or food processor cream the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between additions, followed by the yoghurt.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and walnuts in a mixing bowl and use a whisk to combine. Place the apple pieces in another bowl and toss with the lemon zest and juice.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry and use a spatula to fold them together a few times then add the apples and mix briefly until just combined - don’t over-mix. Scoop the batter into the tin and smooth off the surface.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve slices of cake with a side of natural yoghurt. Store in a cake tin or container in the pantry and consume within 2 days.