Apple appeal: Two ways to cook with apples

Apples can awaken memories of childhood desserts and pork dishes. Our chefs come up with two modern takes on traditional apple recipes

Men seem to suffer a particular weakness towards apples and custard

Men seem to suffer a particular weakness towards apples and custard

 

VANESSA’S WAY . . . APPLE AND CUSTARD TARTS

In my experience, men have a weakness for apples and custard. My husband turns wistful when he describes the stewed apple and custard he ate in boarding school, along with the apple pies and crumbles which we regularly make at home.

Sometimes this results in a single leftover cooking apple lurking in the fruit bowl, but adding the apple to this Portuguese custard tart recipe deflects any anxiety over a looming food waste issue. This is a simple recipe, requiring no electric beaters. The tartness of the Bramley apple is offset by the sweet custard.

Though small and dainty, these custard tarts still make a satisfying dessert when served with ice cream and you could drizzle them with Highbank Orchard apple syrup.

If you want to make them in larger sizes, line ramekins with puff pastry and increase the filling. You can substitute Granny Smith apples in lots of apple desserts if you can’t get Bramleys.

GARY’S WAY . . . APPLE, SAGE AND ONION STUFFED PORK SAUSAGE WITH APPLE, MUSTARD SEED AND ONION COMPOTE

I first cooked this dish many moons ago in the Silver Springs Hotel in Cork, where I was competing in a Junior Chef Ireland event. The brief for this particular competition was “an alternative to the traditional Irish breakfast”. I did other little bits and pieces, but for my sausage I made this apple, sage and onion stuffed pork sausage.

In place of ketchup I made a sort of apple chutney, but today I’m going to pair it with a more refined apple, mustard seed and onion compote. It’s one I’ve used more recently and it works better. I do have a further 21 years’ experience since that day, so I suppose I know what I’m talking about.

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