Friday, 9 September 2011

Stuffed, Baked Apples with a Little Difference.

Hands up whose favourite desert when they were a kid was a good old stuffed, baked apple? Anyone?... Those back-to-school days, that glut of apples from the back garden and endless apple puddings.

Stuffed, baked apple was my least favourite. There was nothing ‘fun’ about a stuffed apple as far as I was concerned. It was a desert for old people. No chocolate, no treacle, no cakey bit, no tasty bit you could dig for; just raisins, cinnamon and cheek-pinchingly tart apples from the garden.

And so much of it! Why were they always so big?  Stuffed by a stuffed apple. The cruel fate of a well behaved child. I mean, let’s face it; stuffed apples were just not cool.

Funny how I love them now.

Wissy, George’s Mum, made us one my first night back from France. And I joyfully ate the whole thing. It was the most delicious stuffed apple I’d ever had and made it even more of a joy to be back in the UK at such a time of year. A real inspiration for this recipe.

I’m in Norfolk as I write this blog. George and I are looking for a house to buy round these ‘ere parts. We’re looking for that dream cottage, the one that we live in in my ‘other’ life. If you’ve read my blog, 'My Other life and Baked Bananas', you’ll know exactly what I mean.

We haven’t found it yet on this trip home but I will continue the hunt. When I’m not cooking or writing about cooking I’ll be looking for my home, tucked away in my stuffy cabin on the internet. It’s out there somewhere waiting for me. It has apple trees in the back garden of course and one day I will force feed my children stuffed apples for months on end. Tehe.

Okay, I might have made a more child-friendly stuffed apple recipe up my sleeve. They’re small apples and they have white chocolate in them too. And even if you’re old like me you’ll probably like these too;

For pretty tasty little stuffed apples for 4 you will need;

4 small Braeburn apples or similar
Zest and juice of one lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
50g S.R flour (self raising makes a much better crumble for some reason, my Gran swears by it and I have to concur)
50g crushed Amoretti biscuits
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
100g glace cherries, finely chopped
50g cold butter
50g white choc, finely chopped
50g flaked almonds
Few drops of vanilla extract
Heat your oven to fan oven 140, gas mark 4 or as far as it will go boat oven…


  • Begin by preparing the apples. Take the top slither off the apple and then with a teaspoon dig out the core and a little bit more so that you can get a good bit of the stuffing in. When the apples have been cored, pop into a baking dish and rub the insides of the apple with the lemon juice to stop them from going brown. The lemon juice will add to the final flavour so be generous with it.

  • Put them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

  • Next make the ‘crumble’ mixture. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips. It will be quite buttery at this stage so best not do it in a food processor in case it turns into a dough. Then mix in the crushed Amoretti biscuits, flaked almonds and orange and lemon zest and a few drops of vanilla extract. When it is all well mixed, gently fold in the white choc and cherries. It will be a nice crumbly, buttery mixture. Don’t eat too much of it at this stage or you wont eat your supper.

  • When the apples have had 15-20 minutes cooking gently in the oven they should be tender but not too soft. Spoon in the crumble mixture packing it in quite well and over-filling them so that the mixture loosely covers the top of the apple. Pop back into the oven and cook for another 10 minutes.

  • I think they would be lovely served with a rosemary and orange syrup and custard. As it was I didn’t really have the time so I garnished them with a sprig of rosemary and served with freshly made vanilla custard with freshly squeezed orange juice in it.

Yum. Seasonal and tasty and gooey and a little bit naughty but healthy too! Practically Angelic then.

So we’re back to France on Saturday…oh that’s tomorrow. I’ve mixed feelings. It’s going to be incredibly busy and a lot of hard work with 3 classic yacht regattas back to back; Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez. Lots of sailing and lots of guests and Birthday wishes for Mariquita who is a hundred years old this year. She is a beautiful boat and we are so lucky to be racing her still.

I’ll let you know how it all goes. And I’ll let you know if I get my dream cottage in the country-side. Why England when I’ve travelled around the Mediterranean and spent time in some great countries you may ask?

I love the country-side here. Nothing beats the green of the English country-side. It’s so lush and so very…home.

For now, I’ll be content with life aboard an old wooden racing boat, the glamour of racing in such prestigious places in the Med. And I love it all. I’m very proud to have been a part of Mariquita’s amazing history.

Thanks for reading
Thats quite a tree trunk.


Typical Norfolk road-side

Who the hell needs stuffed apples when there are cow pats to enjoy?

The beautiful Norfolk woodland