When I think of apples, I think of God, sex, sin, fertility, folklore, festivities, family and love.
The old apple tree in the back of my garden started to show her autumn armour in the past two weeks. Her glorious ripe red-cheeked fruits sit like a glowing blush between her beautiful amber and orange leaves, waiting to be harvested. She’s had a good year, and offers her blessings in sheer abundance.
It’s time to bake some apple pies.
10 X Large Bramley Apples – unpeeled and diced into large cubes
1 X Cup of honey (I source mine locally)
2 X Cups of raspberries or blackberries
25ml Apricot Oil (or Olive Oil)
50 grams Unsalted Butter — cubed
1 X Teaspoon of Cinnamon
½ Cup of Lavender
½ Cup of Crushed Almonds
Heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Put the apple cubes and butter in a saucepan and heat on a high temperature on your gas top. Stir well until the butter is melted.
Add the apricot oil, honey and raspberries. Keep stirring and mix well.
Mix in the cinnamon, lavender and almonds. Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow to simmer for approximately 5-10 minutes or until your kitchen is filled with the smell of lavender, apples and cinnamon.
2 X Cups of Nutty Muesli
1 X Cup Raw Oats
½ Cup Demerara Sugar (or Xylitol – a tooth-and-diabetes-friendly, non-fermentable sugar alcohol)
100 grams Unsalted Butter — cubed
½ Cup of Lavender
Mix the muesli, oats, sugar and lavender in a grinder or food processor. The mixture should not be too fine, neither to chunky.
Rub the butter cubes in with the muesli mixture to make your crumble.
If you don’t have lavender at hand (I am lucky to have a few bushes in my garden) you can replace it with cocoa for the filling, and chocolate chips ( 70% cocoa dark chocolate crushed fine with a large sharp knife, will do too) for the crumble. The same measures apply.
Scoop your steaming apple filling in a large sweet pastry case or smaller single sweet pastry cases (this recipe serves 6-8, if you use small pastry cases). I buy mine ready-made. (I know it’s lazy, but it saves a lot of time). Cover with your crumble.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Another good indication that you’re pie is ready, is the gathering of hungry mouths around the kitchen table. The sweet spicy smell of honey, apples, nuts and lavender is irresistible… if you don’t notice it after about twenty minutes, the only thing that could possibly have gone wrong is that you did not switch the oven on.
Serve hot with a dollop of cream, vanilla ice-cream or crème fraiche. Drizzle with honey and decorate with lavender twigs.
Indulge a little bit!
Image: FR Lubbe, Little Red Shoes
Recipe: FR Lubbe, Little Red Shoes