Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Temptation Tuesday - Apple Day

It's no good - whenever I think of 'Temptation' I think of men and food. Probably in that order, but it's a close run thing. Yesterday we had Ally's Christian Bale. So that leaves me food.

And since it's October, and, here in the UK the 21st October is Apple Day, you're going to get Apples.

Apple orchards have long been a quintessential part of the English landscape, particularly in Kent, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, but things are changing. For very many reasons, since 1970 we've seen something like two-thirds of our apple orchards disappear.

Hence Apple Day. Set up to encourage people to cherish their heritage, grow and buy a wider variety of apples.

In my part of the country that happens at Bromham Mill. Set on the River Great Ouse, it's a 17th century restored Watermill. I've got to put it in a book some day.

And, maybe, some of these apple names. They are just fantastic!

Ashmead’s Kernel - not so very attractive this one. It's a greenish-yellow with brown russet tones and crisp flesh.

Cox’s Orange Pippin - our most popular dessert apple, probably because it holds its shape well. It's a pale green apple flecked with orange or brown russet tones.

Discovery - a brilliant crimson-red apple with a pale greenish background. Its crisp flesh doesn't keep, so prepare to see wrinkly skin within a week.

Howgate - it's a round apple with yellow-green skin often flushed with shades of orange and brown. This is a good cooking apple, rivalling Bramleys.

Lord Lambourne - a greenish-yellow apple with broken stripes of red that is beautifully crisp, tasting of lemon and rosewater.

Slack-me-girdle - A cider apple.

But all of that is a little too healthy to be considered truly tempting, so I give you Mary Berry's Canterbury Tart. I'm not even going to tell you how many calories there are per slice!


For the pastry
100g/4oz butter, cubed
200g/8oz plain flour
25g/1oz icing sugar, sifted
1 egg, beaten

For the filling
4 eggs
200g/8oz caster sugar
2 lemons, rind and juice only, grated
100g/4oz butter, melted
2 large Bramley apples (about 350g/12oz in weight), peeled (Bramley's being apples you couldn't possibly eat without cooking.)
2 dessert apples, peeled and thinly sliced
25g/1oz demerara sugar

1. If making the pastry by hand, rub the butter into the flour and icing sugar until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Stir in the beaten egg and bring together to form a dough. This can also be done in a food processor.
3. Chill for about 30 minutes. Roll the dough out on a floured surface and line a round 28cm/11in (3.5cm/1½in deep) flan tin. Form a lip around the edge. Chill for a further 30 minutes while making the filling.
4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
5. To make the filling, beat the eggs, caster sugar, lemon rind and juice together in a large mixing bowl.
6. Stir in the warm melted butter.
7. Coarsely grate the Bramley apples directly into the mixture and mix well.
8. Remove the tart from the fridge and spread the runny lemon mixture over the base.
9. Level the surface with the back of a spoon and arrange the dessert apple slices around the edge, overlapping.
10. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
11. Put on a heavy baking tray and bake in the oven for about 40-50 minutes until the centre feels firm to the touch and the apples are tinged brown.
12. Serve.


Natasha's latest release is: Accepting The Boss's Proposal a Harlequin Romance.

Check out more about this book at her website!

Or check out what Natasha is working on now at her Blog.


  1. Dear Natasha, Hello from The Apple Isle!! Yes, Tasmania is/was the Apple Isle. When I was little we would drive down the Huon and buy cases of apples: Ladies in the Snow, Sweet Williams, Granny Smiths, Cox's Orange, Gravenstein, Delicious, Pink Lady, Gala... Thank you for the lovely memories and the recipe. My favourite apple is the Granny Smith: for eating as well as cooking!! I like a tart crisp apple.

  2. Gorgeous stuff Natasha!

    My fave is the Pink Lady by far. Sweet, not too tart. Not too cidery.

    Mmm, might have to pop down the shops in a bit now my mouth is watering...


  3. I grew up on an apple farm outside of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada!

    My favorite apple is an Empire. It is a blend of Red Delicious (which I don't like) and a MacIntosh. We grew a few while we still had the farm, and now I try to grab them when I can as they come out of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.

    Sorry 2paw, but all our Granny Smith's are imported and they are just NOT the same. Fresh off the tree are very different, though!

    In 1976 I believe, my parents made their one and only trip overseas to England for orchard tours.

    Now you've made me want to dig out my favorite apple recipes. For Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, we made an Apple Crisp Cheesecake! Divine.


  4. LOL Natasha! In two weeks time we're seeing the in-laws and getting our annual bags of apples from their garden! Ok for some who can bake or make them into apple sauce...

    Oh, and its a Cox for me and Weston's 1880 Premium Cider :D

  5. It must say something about me but I've an overwhelming desire to track down a slack-me-girdle. :)

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  7. Washington State where I reside in the USA is also known for being apple producers. Here's a favorite of mine from Chef Emeril courtesy of Good Morning America:


    Streusel Topping:
    1 c light brown sugar
    1 c chopped apples
    1 c chopped walnuts or pecans
    ¼ c all-purpose flour
    1 t ground cinnamon
    3 T butter, melted

    Cake: Batter very stiff, a little hard to spread
    3 c all-purpose flour
    1 t baking powder
    1 t baking soda
    1/3 c (1 stick) softened butter
    1/3 c granulated sugar
    3 large eggs
    ½ t vanilla
    1/3 c orange juice

    1/3 c confectioners’ sugar
    1-1/3 t orange juice

    Prepare Streusel: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 to 10 inch tube pan. Prepare streusel in a med. Bowl, combine sugar, apples, nuts, flour and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter.

    Cake: In med. Bowl, combine flour, baking powder & baking soda; mix well. In large bowl, using an electric mixer, set on med. Speed, beat butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add eggs, mix at a time, beat well after each addition. Add vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately beat flour mixture & orange juice into egg mixture. Spoon ½ of batter into tube pan. Sprinkle with ½ of streusel. Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel, spreading to make an even layer. Swirl batter with a knife to create a marble pattern. Bake 15 min. Remove cake from oven & sprinkle top with remaining streusel. Return cake to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool, completely.

    Glaze: Combine confectioners sugar and juice. Mix well. Turn cake out onto a serving plate; invert so streusel is on top. Drizzle glaze over cake and serve.