Old fashioned apple recipes
Now that autumn is almost here there are rich pickings to be had almost anywhere as the fruit has ripened on the trees and mushrooms and edible fungi are appearing in fields and even in the allotment in the potato patch (which I think is due to horse manure being dug into the ground in spring).Incidentally I understand that manure picked from pasture where mares have been grazing results in almost always a bumper crop of mushrooms.
Apples are very versatile, both dessert and cooking apples, and have been a staple item on menus everywhere for a long time. Most recipes call for the fruit to be peeled but if they are to be used with the peel on shop bought apples should be washed thoroughly as the will have been treated in some way. Apple peel is very nutritious as it contains ursolic acid - a compound which helps to build muscle and keeps cholesterol and blood sugar under control ( I have just had a visit from my neighbour who has kindly brought me a big bag of damsons from their tree so I am going to stew them with some windfall apples and then freeze some of the stewed fruit for winter).
The following recipes are old ones and I hope that you will try them. The first one is a variation on pancakes. For this you need 2 large apples, 2 eggs, 2 level tablespoons each of flour and sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Separate the yolks from the white then add the butter and sugar to the yolks and cream them well with a wooden spoon. Peel and grate the apples and add them to the creamed mixture then stir in the sifted flour and add a squeeze of lemon juice.When it is well mixed lightly stir in the stiffly whisked egg whites. Fry them as small pancakes in smoking hot fat and then serve them dredged with sugar or cinnamon and enjoy.Pears may be substituted for apples and then serve the pancakes with chocolate sauce.
Apple custard makes a change from the traditional egg custard cakes. Take a cupful of apple sauce which must be of a thick consistency resembling that served with pork and to this add a cupful of milk, an ounce of warmed butter and sugar to taste. Add a beaten egg and a few drops of red colouring to give it a pinkish tinge and bake in a moderate oven until set .
Apple jam can be made using windfalls. For every lb of peeled and cored apples add 3/4 lb of jam sugar and the rind and juice of 1/2 lemon. Put the peeled,cored and sliced apples into a pan and cook until tender. Add the sugar the grated lemon rind and juice and boil slowly, removing the scum as it rises, until the jam will set when tested. When it has cooled put it into jars and cover in the usual way.
This next recipe can be served hot or cold and makes a substantial packed meal. Bake some large old potatoes in their skins and when cooked scoop out the potato and mix, it with a little butter and salt and pepper to taste. Peel a large apple and grate the flesh and add it to the potato mixture. To this add finely minced ham or tongue, or buy pigs trotters or a ham hock for the main dish and save some to add to the mixture thus making another meal, and form into sausages, dip them in milk, roll them in breadcrumbs and fry in hot fat until brown.
There are of course many apple dishes , apple pie, apple crumble and apple sauce are the most popular but I think these give a different slant to an old favourite. Enjoy them.