AFTER APPPLE PICKING
My long two-pointed ladder is sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
Except from a poem by Robert Frost 1874–1963
The celebration of Autumn produce continues, and apples and pears were the bounty of our visit to three more Pialligo orchards over Easter, so I do hope dear readers that you are not yet tired of me raving about fruit.
After enjoying coffee and cake at one of the busy cafes in the area, we strolled in the sunshine down Beltana Road, stopping to admire some alpacas along the way. We bought a kilo of Braeburns from the Hauptmann's at Beltana Grange, almost the last of their offerings for the morning; and then dropped in to Kerrison's, another of my most favourite places to visit at this time of the year. My children loved visiting Kerrison's when they were small, as there were always chooks roaming around freely under the fruit trees. Mrs Kerrison advised that a fox took them all!
Back at home after our outing, I popped the oven on and quickly prepared some of the freshly picked Golden Delicious for dessert. You really don't need a recipe for this one, simply core the apples, and pare trenches into the sides so the skin won't burst so readily; then stuff the centres with a few simple ingredients. Basically, sultanas, slivered almonds, unsalted cultured butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and water; as the images below will show. Use dates and walnuts with grated lemon and good drizzle of honey, if you prefer. Raisins would be perfect too. Be generous with the ingredients, especially the butter and the brown sugar, as a caramel will form and pool in the bottom of the dish. Bake in a preheated moderate oven for about 45 minutes, until the fruit is tender. Baste the apples during baking. If the liquid doesn't quite caramelise, you can finish it off on the stove top.
Serve with a dollop of double cream, yoghurt, good vanilla bean ice cream, sour cream or crème fraîche.
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.