About two weeks ago, we bought some apples from Waitrose, advertised as ‘not quite as perfect’. I think it’s great that we can get products like this, where there’s a bump here or there and where they aren’t shaped like a computer-generated image of the perfect apple.
At the same time though it does also seem ridiculous that we supermarkets have to market these as ‘not quite perfect’ because what is perfection? Nothing in nature is as perfect as imperfection itself. When was the last time you walked past an apple tree and ALL the apples were exactly the same weight and shape? No, I’ve never done that either. What this actually is, is a bag of apples, where the apples haven’t been photoshopped to be on the cover of a magazine and therefore look decisively like normal apples.
Anyway… rant over! It is still a very positive thing that these products are actually being put on the market, rather than thrown away. It also shows that there is a demand for it from us, the consumers – and that shows a changing attitude towards the food we eat which we should welcome with open arms!
Now to the recipes:
I ended up having quite a few of these apples left and I really didn’t want to throw them away so instead I made apple crisps and four little apple crumbles, both of which were delicious, if I do say so myself.
These are extremely easy to make and have all of 1 ingredient to them and maximum 2, so as long as you have an oven and an apple you’re ready to go!
About 16 crisps:
1. Heat your oven to 140°.
2. Core the apple. If you don’t have an apple corer, as I don’t, then just go on to the next step. Cut out some of the hard middle once it’s sliced.
3. Thinly slice the apple. If you have a mandolin, this will make your life slightly easier, but a knife will also do the job just fine. Aim for about 2mm thickness.
4. Get a baking tray and some non-stick parchment paper. Make sure it’s non-stick. Mine got stuck and it meant I lost a few bits here and there when I finally took them out. Alternatively, lift them up from the paper half way through baking just to make sure they don’t stick.
5. Put the apple slices on the baking tray and make sure they’re not overlapping.
6. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon if so desired.
7. Leave them in the oven for 40 minutes, and then they’ll come out nice and crisp!
If your apples are very sour then do sprinkle them with a bit of sugar as well. I had no need to as the apples I used were very sweet in themselves.
Apple crumble is such a British classic, and I do apologise if I, a non-Brit, am doing this completely wrong, but I think it tastes pretty good!
For four ramekins:
Lemon or lime juice
60g plain flour
20g brown sugar (the apples I used were very sweet in themselves, therefore there’s not much sugar in the crumble mixture, and non in the stewed apples. If your apples are sour, then just leave out the lemon/lime juice and add some more sugar to suit your taste buds).
35g butter + a knob
0.5 tsp. cinnamon
1. Heat the oven to 180°.
2. Start by chopping the apples, removing the core as you go. Feel free to cut how you want, if you vary the size of the pieces then you’ll have a nice mixture in the final crumble.
3. Add the knob of butter to a pot along with the apples. Add a splash of lemon or lime juice, especially if the apples are very sweet. Let it cook, stirring occasionally whilst you get on with the crumble mix.
4. Mix the flour, oats, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a bowl. Squeeze the mixture between your fingers repeatedly to crumble it and incorporate all the ingredients.
5. When fully mixed it should look like little balls.
6. Put the crumble mixture on a baking tray and put it in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
7. After 10 minutes or so on the hob the apples should be stewed, with some still holding their shape. Put the apple mixture in four ramekins, sharing it equally between them. Leave till the crumble mixture is done.
8. One the crumble is done, take it out of the oven, and spoon it over each ramekin.
9. Now you can either put these back in the oven till they’re warmed through. It should take 5-10 minutes. Alternatively you can put them in the fridge and keep them till later or for a few days. They’ll probably take about 15 minutes to warm through at 180°.
10. Serve with crème fraiche, ice cream or cream! Or eat as it is!
You could also add vanilla or orange zest to the crumble mix for some added flavour.
Let me know what you think!