Bramley Apple – The Best Cooking Apple
The apple season is well underway now and in County Armagh, the picking of the Bramley apples in Rose’s Orchard (which belongs to my Uncle Des and prior to that my Granda Mackle and prior again to my great great aunt Rose Mackle ) started early this year at the end of August when the weather was particularly lovely and luckily has stayed lovely for the most part throughout September and early October.
The orchard will be dormant throughout winter when the huge task of pruning takes place but it comes back to life with the delicate pink and white apple blossom in Springtime the peak is usually at the beginning of May. You can find out more about our Bramley Apple Orchard Experiences here.
Time to Get Baking – Apple & Cinnamon Crumble
It’s a great time to get baking and there are so many lovely autumnal recipes, old and new to try out. The new season and the change of produce is always an inspiration. I’ve been tweaking my apple crumble recipe with lots of positive feedback “best crumble I ever tasted ” is always good to hear. Bramley apples cook down very easily to a soft consistency and have a natural sweetness inspite of being sharp and this is why the Bramley apple is the best cooking apple.
You can find my favourite (so far) Apple & Cinnamon Crumble recipe here.
I’m back to having apple compote on my porridge in the mornings along with a sprinkle of cinnamon which apparently reduces sugar cravings. Apple compote doesn’t need any sugar although feel free to add some depending on your tastes and how you are going to use it. Just wash, peel and slice two large Bramley apples. I find 2 makes more than enough for the week and this keeps perfectly in the fridge.
Put in a smallish pan, add a splash of cold water and cover with a lid (it will cook much quicker with a lid) and cook on a medium to low heat giving the apples a stir every now and then until completely soft. Serve warm or cold.
There are lots of lovely Bramley Apple Recipes such as the traditional Potato Apple Bread of County Armagh which is hard to describe but is like a humble and more rustic version of an Apple Tart using the Potato Bread instead of pastry to encase the apples and something my mother made regularly. I often make Potato Bread as well as other traditional Irish Breads in our Traditional Irish Baking classes in which you can learn the secrets to great soda bread and have a go at making your own.
Also Bramley Apples make a great jelly as they are very high in Pectin although usually I prefer the crab apples for jelly as they add a little bit of colour depending on the variety, you can get pink and dark red crab apples. The apple jelly is delicious with roast lamb, roast stuffed pork fillet which I serve with warm apple sauce. They also make a tasty addition to homemade sausage rolls.
Apple Chutney is another favourite and a great way to preserve the apples and use up a glut.
If you have any queries or suggestions do get in touch, we would love to hear from you.