The UK celebrates Apple Day later this month. The event has grown in popularity since it’s inception in October 1990—and has developed into annual event to spread environmental awareness and celebrate the Autumn season.
The apple has long been a staple of lunchboxes—and it’s said that ‘one a day keeps the doctor away’—so it’s little wonder the humble apple has remained one of the nation’s most popular fruits for hundreds of years.
In readiness for Apple Day, we are exploring ‘all things apple’ and sharing some of our favourite recipes that showcase this versatile fruit.
Making the perfect apple crumble
Apples are often used in puddings and desserts for their sweet, sticky and slightly caramel texture when cooked. The fruit can also help to keep sweet dishes moist and juicy too.
There are not many things more British than a bowl of apple crumble, especially as the winter nights draw in and we want something warm and comforting to enjoy after we’ve cosied up for the evening. To create the perfect apple crumble, it is important to select the right type of apple for the dish.
Bramley apples are a great choice for a crumble, as they have a firm texture that won’t turn to mush when baked. They have a crisp, tart flavour—but if you have a sweet tooth, try using the Braeburn variety instead.
The ultimate apple crumble is a fragrant dish which combines Bramley and Braeburn apples for the perfect flavour and texture combination. The addition of zesty lemon and cinnamon make this a firm family favourite. The crumble topping should be crisp, with the juices from the filling oozing out (use very cold butter to achieve the crumbliest topping) for a truly indulgent dish.
Apple crumble can be served with a choice of cream, ice-cream—or our favourite—lashings of piping hot, thick custard! Vegans need not miss out on apple crumble either, this recipe uses a vegan spread to replace the butter and tastes just as good!
Caramel apple buns
If you are looking for a sticky treat to enjoy with a cup of tea, then we recommend this caramel apple bun recipe, which combines the sharpness of apple with a sweet caramel for a toffee-apple inspired treat. To complete the taste sensation, the buns are topped with a zingy soft cheese icing.
They can be served warm with a generous dollop of crème fraiche but are equally as good cold for a lunchbox treat.
Apple sandwiches? Yes – they are a thing!
For an unusual dessert try an apple panini. We can’t pretend that this dish is the healthiest way to eat an apple, but it’s certainly one of the tastiest.
Fire up your panini press and add a sandwich of sugar-crusted raisin bread filled with honey-infused mascarpone cheese and thin slices of Granny Smith apples to it. After 5 minutes, you’ll have a warm, perfectly toasted sweet sandwich to serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Even if your waistline won’t thank you—your tastebuds will!
If you prefer a savoury panini why not try pairing sliced apple with cheddar cheese and turkey or chicken breast for an equally quick and delicious lunch.
Savoury dishes that celebrate the apple
Apples are not just for puddings! There are an amazing range of savoury foods that pair perfectly with apple.
The classic combination of pork and apple is thought to have started centuries ago when pig farmers gave their livestock rotten apples to eat and noticed that the fruit would flavour the meat.
The tradition is still one that is observed at Sunday dinner tables across the UK, with roast pork and apple sauce a firm favourite of families. For a wholesome winter-warming dish, try this pork, apple and mustard recipe that’s full of flavour.
Curried carrot and apple soup
For a lunch that is both healthy and hearty, we suggest a bowl of curried carrot and apple soup. The soup is best made with soft apples such as Mcintosh—which are also a good choice for homemade apple sauce.
This is an ideal recipe to batch cook as it freezes well for up to three months, making it a fast and nutritious lunch option on a cold day. Serve with buttered crusty bread to dunk—this ‘no knead’ beer bread is an easy to make accompaniment.
Crispy fried fish with honeyed apple
The pairing of fish and apples might raise a few eyebrows—but trust us—try it and we’re sure you’ll be converted!
This recipe works best with sea bass (or other white fish with firm flesh) dredged in butter and fried, before topping with slices of honey drenched apples. Haddock is another fish that complements apples – try it with a cider and apple sauce for a tasty main meal that can be made in advance and simply reheated when you’re ready for dinner.
The fish can also be used in a salad accompanied by boiled potatoes, red onions and of course fresh apple, drizzle over a mustard based dressing for a little added tang.
Bottoms up for apple-based drinks
Ask anyone to name their favourite apple-based drink and, chances are, they will say cider. But there are so many other beverages that benefit from the addition of apples, such as this Autumn apple and gin cocktail full of boozy, warm flavours such as cinnamon and honey for an adults-only treat.
Kick start your day with a delicious fresh juice of blended Pink Lady® apples and beetroot. Bursting with goodness, it includes 2 of your 5-a-day to put a spring in your step at breakfast time.
Apple tea is easy to make and is thought to have a number of health benefits as it boosts vitamin C levels and the fibre in apples can aid digestion. To make a cup of apple tea, boil a sliced apple with black tea leaves, a few cloves and a cinnamon stick and drink it either hot or cold.
Find out more about Apple Day
Explore the origins of Apple Day and discover the history and versatility of the humble apple.