I have an obsession with apples; I will on a daily basis fill my pockets with them so that I have a handy snack to enjoy when I am out and about. I love that amazing balance of sweet and sour that an apple provides. Of course it differs from apple to apple, and there are so many types! It would be a dream to eat all of the different varieties in the world, which is quite a task as there are over 7000! Braeburn was my favourite for a long time, I adored the tart crunchiness that made my mouth zing. I am also appreciative of the worthy Granny Smith although I use them more often for cooking than eating; a good choice to make pie with (although inferior in this respect to the glorious Bramley). At home we have a Discovery apple tree; pinkish red with streaks in the flesh, they are tart and fantastic. Recently I am more inclined towards sweeter apples such as Royal Gala, or sometimes Jazz which I discovered a few weeks ago. I looked up Jazz and it turns out it was cultivated for the first time in 2007 by crossing a Braeburn with a Royal Gala. Magic! Indeed most of the varieties of apples that exist are simply cross-breeds of two different existing ones.
I am planning an apple party, there will be a fantastic spectrum of tasty apple treats. Apple pie (of course), toffee apples and baked apples, apple jelly….and it will all be accompanied by plenty of cider (a drink which I am particularly fond of). I will have a think and maybe invent some apple cocktails. Apple sorbet is my next adventure; I got given Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets for Christmas and he has a recipe for raspberry sorbet. It looks delicious, and he suggests trying the recipe with other fruits… i.e. apples! So I thought I’d give it a try. It is possible to make sorbet without an ice-cream churner, and although the resulting texture won’t be quite as smooth it is still pretty good.