Best use for fallen apples? Make warm autumnal pies with them

JP McMahon: As long as apples have not begun to rot, they can be used for baking

Incorporating fallen apples into an autumnal   pie or cake is the best way to make use of them, even if they have the odd bruise. Photograph: iStock

Incorporating fallen apples into an autumnal pie or cake is the best way to make use of them, even if they have the odd bruise. Photograph: iStock

 

What are we to do with the many apples falling from the trees? It’s a national tragedy that we don’t have some branch of the civil service responsible for collecting all the apples that fruit in autumn.

Maybe this “department of fallen fruit” could collect them and make dozens of apple pies to feed anyone in need of some apple pie love. Perhaps they could stand outside train and bus stations and give out slices of warm pie to travellers on their way to or from work. Or maybe they could juice them all and call to various schools and create a national apple juice day. 

It seems preposterous, doesn’t it? Why on earth would we pay someone to collect wild food and redistribute it for free, in order to cause unexpected happiness? Of course, it’s completely ridiculous. I apologise for the brief moment of madness that over took me. We cannot expect the Government to set an agenda for the wild food on the island in order to educate us about its rich heritage and forgotten meaning. We’ll just have to do it ourselves.

Spices

As long as the apples that have fallen have not begun to rot, they’re there to be used. Incorporating them into an autumnal apple pie or cake is the best way to make use of them, even if they have the odd bruise.

Autumn is also a time for spices as they bring a rich warmth to the food. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace all have the ability to create and capture a certain autumnal spirit that seems to prevail once the leaves turn to red, russet, and orange. Their shimmering nature in the late September sun seems to conjure those sweet aromatic notes that exude from those spices.

I like to grate the apples and fold them into a regular sponge mixture. Cream 200g of sugar and butter and fold in four eggs and apples, then add 200g of sieved self-raising flour and spices. If the mixture is a little thick, thin it out with some apple juice. Bake for 25 mins at 180 degrees. 

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