I searched my trusty cookery books but in the end only Mrs Beeton’s yielded a recipe for baked apples. I customised it, omitting sugar, and used chopped-up organic dates and prunes plus sultanas and sunflower seeds to stuff the de-cored apples. I dotted butter on top, and placed the stuffed unpeeled apples in an ovenproof dish with a thumbnail of water and baked it for an hour at Gas mark 4 (180 degrees).
They emerged from the oven, fluffed-up apple-flesh bursting from their heat-withered skin. Hmmmm, worthy contenders for a competition, methinks…
My apples were organic, natch, because I didn’t fancy the cocktail of factory-made pesticides sprayed on most apples.
I had bought my big fat organic cooking apples at Bristol Farmers’ Market from the stall of the wondrous Avon Organic Group (below). I say wondrous because it is a voluntary group that helps maintain a local organic orchard and allotments in the city. Where would we be without such dedication?
It’s Apple day on October 21. I keep noticing the little darlings ripening on trees in the stillness of autumn.
If you love baked apples, and you ever come across an apple-corer, do not hesitate. Just buy it. A corer costs a few pounds and will be your lifelong-kitchen friend even if you only use it once a year.
I value mine so much, I photographed it on a velvet cushion (see below).