If you feel drawn to this post, that means that you are an apple lover. Good for you, apples are not only healthy, but also a feel-good food.
Just think: if Garfield would have had a love for apples instead of lasagne and pizza, he wouldn't look like this.
This aside; I had to get a cat in there, sorry.
This weekend my son, daughter-in-law and myself picked the apples hanging from our solitary apple tree in the front garden.
There were two good reasons for doing this.
1. I had to get in there before they all rotted from the branches.
2. I had to get in there before the neighborhood kids would.
My apples are yummy, you see. They are Elstars, and when they are fresh they have a sweet but taut, very juicy quality. You can eat them as they are, peel them, dry them, cook them for apple sauce of bake wonderful apple pies with them.
And let me tell you, that's a good thing. Just look at the harvest. And this isn't all. It is halfway through our picking.
In fact, this year we had a bumper crop, as opposed to last year, when we barely had 1 bucket full.
But people with apple knowledge have told me that this is normal. Apple trees tend to have gap years, when they hardly bear any fruit.
To celebrate our great apple year, I thought you might like my recipe for unpretentiously not-at-all traditional Dutch mini-apple pies?
Yeah, thought you would!
First of all, I am a cheating kind of cook. I like to make it easy on myself, since my job is so demanding that I usually come home dead tired.
So I use almost ready-made crumble dough (buy it in any supermarket).
What do you need:
- 3 large Elstars (or the equivalent - you need apples that will not bake to mush)
- enough crumble dough for 6 mini-crumbles
- 1 egg
- 100 g pecan nuts
- 100 g butter (I use real butter) + (mind you check you dough mixture for the correct amount)
- 90 g fine brown sugar
- half a lime
- 1 table spoon of cinnamon (I use the organic kind)
- 100 g strawberry (or another kind of berry) jam (I use my home made blueberry jam)
- if you like, whipped cream or ice cream, to put on the side.
How do you make them:
* first of all, you pre-heat your oven (look at the dough packet for the correct temperature!)
* chop up your Elstars and mix them well with the pecan nuts, cinnamon and sugar, squeeze the lime juice over it
* mix up your crumble dough by adding the butter and the egg
* form your 6 mini-pies either sloppily by hand (I usually do) or by making a nest of aluminium foil first (do not forget to remove this later though!), or use ready-bought cupcake paper cups, this works just fine
* now put in a good table-spoon of jam in the bottom
* put your chopped up Elstar mix on top
Settle your apple pies in the oven and bake until golden brown.
Do not attempt to wash your windows in the meantime! I did once - not a great idea, unless you like burnt apple pie.