One of the reasons why I was so keen to make the move from the city to the countryside was to feel more connected to the seasons. And now autumn is in full swing I’m relishing the views from the house right now, and that light! The low level sunlight and morning mist is just the most incredible sight. Piercing blue skies against the bevy of autumnal reds, gold’s and oranges make my colour loving heart sing.
While we’ve had a really mild month, yesterday the cold really snapped and I had to rummage around and dig out my bobble hat and gloves. I’m not a lover of the cold, who is, but it’s good to remember the old adage “There’s no such thing as cold weather, just inadequate clothing”. Well I’d add style to that too so saw it as the perfect opportunity to wear my latest crush. My cashmere sweater from Wyse London. I love cashmere and now I’m over 40 I suddenly have no problem in justifying wearing it. Check them out as they do gorgegous designs, really lovely sloppy joe shape. No surprise I went for the one with the multi coloured stars down each arm. Gorgeous. Get one on your Christmas list quick!
While I was mowing up leaves in the orchard and spotted the apple tree still heavy with cookers, or Bramley apples to give them their proper name. I sent my little helper climbing up the tree which is without doubt his current most-favourite-thing-to-do-in-the-world-ever at the moment. My Mum had the genius idea of baking them up to take to the bonfire party that night. I just had to share the recipe with you as it couldn’t have been easier to prepare and they went down an absolute storm. Compliments to the chef! I felt quite a cheat as it’s the easiest thing ever to bake.
Baked Bonfire apples
Firstly wash the apples and take out the cores. If you have an apple corer then this is easy. Otherwise get a sharp kitchen knife and stab out a circle at both ends until you can remove the core by pushing it out with your thumb. Next score a line around the midriff of each apple with a knife.
To prepare the filling you can raid your store for dried fruit. I used raisins, dried cranberries and chopped apricots. Then add some nuts for a bit of crunch. I used chopped Pecans.
Place the apples on a large baking tray and then fill the cavities with the dried fruit and nuts. Then put a blob of marmalade on the top of each one, about a desert spoonful. Then heap sugar over the whole lot.
Pop a small amount of water in the bottom of the tray, just enough to cover it, and pop into the oven at 180 degrees.
Now the time you leave in the oven is a hot topic. Both times I’ve cooked this dish the apples have exploded, and I’ve ended up with a tray of apple puree. If this happens it looks a disaster but still tastes just as delicious, so don’t panic. I’d put them in an oven at 180 and check them after 20 minutes. You can check if they’re soft by stabbing them with a skewer. They taste best I think if they’re really cooked through so the apple is super soft and fluffy.
Serve in a bowl with a dollop of ice cream, crème fraiche or pouring cream. Absolute heaven.
I’d love to hear your ways of celebrating autumn, especially if you have any tips for the new girl in the countryside!