Harvesting apples

Posted: Friday 17 October 2014
by Kate Bradbury

I spent a day last week harvesting apples – the cooker ‘Bramley’s Seedling’, something similar to ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ and 'Egremont Russet'.

Picking apples

I spent nearly a whole day last week harvesting apples. I harvested three varieties – two (the cooker ‘Bramley’s Seedling’ and something similar to ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’) involved climbing gnarled old trees to retrieve the fruit from less-than-sturdy boughs (fun!). The other, a lovely lone ‘Egremont Russet’, grew on a recently planted tree with its label helpfully intact (easier, but not so fun).

I ate the ‘Egremont Russet’ and several of the Cox’s lookalikes, and pocketed a few ‘Bramley’s Seedling’ to use in a strudel.

I hope one day I have a garden with a gnarled old ‘Bramley’s Seedling’ apple tree to climb. It will be covered in lichen and have lots of dead wood with beetles living in it, and a big ball of mistletoe at the top. Most of the apples will fall and become food for autumn butterflies and winter thrushes, but some will end up in my kitchen, where they will be cooked with hideous amounts of sugar and butter and used to make pies, crumbles and strudels.

I’d never made a strudel before; I usually make the apple flapjack crumble from BBC Good Food. But I like a change. So, last week’s Bramley apples were peeled, cored and sliced and cooked with sugar for 10 minutes until soft. I then piled the sugary apple heap on to three layers of filo pastry, which I rolled up, brushed with butter and sugar and baked in the oven at 200°C. The resulting strudel was delicious, and my mum said it was the best she’d ever had. I just wish it had involved less butter and sugar.

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flowering rose 17/10/2014 at 18:59

I have grown apple trees from sticks stuck in the ground ,hoping to see apples next year and what kind.They are a couple of feet now .Love apples from the tree as they have scent and flavour that shop ones rarely have. I make pies and allsorts and jams and jam cheeses. keep cooking with apples!

artjak 17/10/2014 at 20:11

The local farmer lets me collect Bramleys - so far I've made 4 gallons of wine and 2 Apple and almond Cobblers; delish