Duvet Apples & Frosty Mornings!
Festive Baked Apples with Mincemeat and Honey
Walks to the hen-house crackle with frosted leaves and frozen grass now and a cheeky little wind plays havoc with my dressing gown, as I am never dressed when I make the mad dash to the end of the garden at “silly o’clock” in the morning! Our garden trees are hanging on to a few of their leaves still, like elderly ladies hanging on to their bonnets, and their branches aren’t completely undressed just yet. Vegetables and herbs sparkle with frosty patterns and the bird table displays a frosted roof, whilst the feathered diners hop around the base searching for seeds that may have escaped. I have always loved my early morning walks to let the chickens out – I enjoy the solitude and beauty of our early morning garden – but I admit to lingering in bed for just a few minutes more lately, and whilst I battled my way down to let the ladies out this morning I had visions of fluffy pillows and plump duvets dancing in my head. It’s a duvet cooking type of day today, and as autumn gives in the winter, my thoughts turn to baked dumplings and casseroles, as well as steamed puddings and the best baked dessert of all, baked apples.
Baked apples are a dessert from my childhood; it was my favourite pudding and mum always used to bake them with mincemeat, or in the absence of mincemeat, dried fruit and nuts mixed with brown sugar, mixed spice and sometimes golden syrup. We also used to have them for a supper dish, after a simple tea of toast or bead and butter with jam……it sounds very frugal now, but we never left the table hungry and the bread was always home-made, as was the jam. We always ate a lot of fruit, and I always had fruit in my lunch box. I totally approve of fruit at work, and last year I was happy to review an Office Fruit Box from FruitDrop – you can read all about it here: Fresh Fruit for the Office with Fruitdrop, The Quince Tree and Baked Orchard Fruits with Vanilla and Honey. So, when FruitDrop contacted me recently and asked me if I could like to develop a recipe for them, using fruit, I was pleased to accept, given that I still eat fruit every day as well as cook and bake with it.
Today’s recipe is based on my mum’s mincemeat baked apples, and is made with my own home-made mincemeat, Traditional Boozy Mincemeat with Apples. As you will see from the title of my mincemeat recipe, it’s also made with apples and is fat-free for a light and lower calorie mincemeat. I used cooking apples for this recipe last time I made it, but you can use ANY apples you wish, and eating apples such as Russet, Coxes Orange Pippins and Gala apples are particularly good when baked. I just prefer cooking apples, such as Bramley, Blenheim Orange and Newton Wonder, as they burst open during cooking to reveal their fluffy apply interior! Although the mincemeat has sugar in it, you still need a drizzle of honey (or golden syrup) over the top to sweeten the recipe up a notch.
My new baked apple recipe is shared below, and I have also popped my recipe for home-made mincemeat in too, as it is the season to make merry and mincemeat! And, as for FruitDrop, I am still happy to endorse their delivery service a year on, especially as they source all of their produce from local markets and pack the fruit boxes by hand to ensure you get the freshest fruit. I also think that their pricing is highly competitive and they are happy to tailor the service to your budget – I know I was very impressed with the quality and choice I received last year. That’s it for today, I will be back over the weekend with some new PUDDING recipes and other daily thoughts…….have a fabulous Friday, and see you soon! Karen
NB: With thanks to Jeff, who provided me with these beautiful Bramley apples!
I these baked apples into the following challenges:
Laura of How to Cook Good Food