I know that apples aren’t great at this time of year; they’ve been in cold store for ages, and probably flown up from South Africa (about 6,000 miles), Chile (7,000 miles) or New Zealand (11,000 miles). The UK apple season starts in late August with first Discoveries, and everything is harvested by around mid-October. After that, apples are cold-stored, kept in suspended animation so that we can have UK apples. A year-long supply of *anything* – carrots, onions, pears even potatoes – is a very modern invention. So, growers grow varities that have to travel well, from orchard to picking to sorting, packing, airplane, packing, warehouse, supermarket. Seeing as a lot of fruit is best eaten straight off the tree, then flavour and texture are often lower down the list of priorities for supermarkets and growers than an apple that can move 7,000 miles.
So, your fluffy apple that may or may not have had a more exciting travel life than you.
11,000 miles for your after-lunch apples. That is a bit shit and a bit wooly and a bit brown … and it’s just a couple of apples, right? Just a few to chuck in the bin? What if you’ve taken just one bite and you shuddered – you were expecting a crisp, sweet, crunchy apple. The thick skin of your apple gave way to wooly, loose apple. You put the apple down but please, do not sling it in the bin, feeling happy that you got a slam dunk/hole in one/back of the net (I think this is the right way to use sporting analogies…).
The simplest thing to do with your crappy apples is to make them into apple sauce. You can freeze it for a day when you have roast pork, or eat it for pudding, on its own or with yoghurt. Mostly I like it on the top of porridge, where the texture contrasts nicely with the (sometimes a bit much) texture.
Makes around 400ml
You can make this with a smaller amount of apples; it’ll just make less sauce!
10 minutes prep
30 minutes cook
Peel the apples, going from top to bottom rather than round – it’s quicker!
Cut off any brown bits
Cut the apples into quarters, so you can see the core
Cut out the cores
Chop the apple into pieces around a centimetre big
Put all the apple chunks into you saucepan and add the water
Bring to the boil
Cover and turn the heat down so that the water is simmering
Occasionally stir the apples
When they are soft (a sharp knife goes into some of the larger pieces easily),
get busy with your potato masher and squash up the sauce
Optional: use an immersion blender to make a smooth sauce
You can leave it to cool and store in the fridge for between 3 and 5 days (depending on how cold your fridge is)
Store in a lidded container for the longest shelf life
Apple sauce freezes really well. Again, a lidded container or a freezer bag – just make sure to write what it is…
Got a question? Ingredient you need help with? Get in touch: