Sunday, 23 August 2009

Harvest



It seems a bit early in the year for harvesting, but all of a sudden our garden is full of fruits that are ripe and ready for picking. Yesterday morning, we had a good attempt at moving fruit from garden to kitchen.

Apples....

Apples

....blackberries....

Blackberries

....and plums....

Plums

I strongly approve of free food, but honestly, I have more than I know what to do with. Yesterday, I made three fruit crumbles (two blackberry & apple, and one plum). This morning I stewed most of the remaining plums and will freeze that mixture until I need it. I'll probably make an apple cake, and I have loads of onions so I might also try out an apple chutney recipe that a friend gave me back in February.

But we haven't even picked half of the apples yet, so I'm going to need a few more ideas.

Does anyone know how to make those dried apple slices?

Apples & blackberries

In case anyone's in need of a good recipe for Crumble Topping, yesterday's one worked especially well because I had some almonds to use up.

Almonds

I never use an actual recipe to make crumble because I have a mental picture of how it should look. I start with a quantity of butter depending on the amount of crumble mixture I want to end up with... yesterday I used about 150g and I made three large puddings from that. These are the steps I follow in my head:
  • Start with the butter. Let's say 50g per large dish that you want to top.

  • Rub in plain flour a little at a time until the mixture is just dry enough not to form little crumbs instead of one big lump (you don't want to make it too dry, because there are more dry ingredients to come).

  • Add enough oats to double the volume.

  • I then added a small handful of almonds, roughly chopped, and a couple of tablespoons of dark brown sugar (per crumble). [This is optional, and you can't really break this recipe, so experiment with quantities 'to taste'. For a savory crumble, instead of sugar, you can use herbs and grated cheese which is yummy.]

  • Mix everything together, and sprinkle on top of the 'filling'. For fruit crumbles, I find that from raw, sliced fruit, topped with raw crumble mixture, it needs about 40 minutes at 200C.

Crumble mixture


12 comments:

Dedene said...

Your apples are already ripe! Ours are still on the tree. The crumble recipe looks delish!
I checked into making dried apple slices and found out that you need a fruit dryer to do it. If you do it in the over, it takes way too long and uses too much electricity. In the fruit dryer it takes about 12 hours!

Amy @ The Q Family said...

Wow! You have a nice garden. I don't have green thumb so anything would probably die with me. :) Look like a great harvest season for you.

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Those apples - I have to stop hands. They must be delicious. I wish I was present.

liliannattel said...

One summer before kids, my h & I house-sat in Nova Scotia. They had raspberry bushes galore and when they ripened we had raspberries, raspberry sauce, everything we could think of with raspberries--which were my favourite fruit. I had no idea until then that I could ever get tired of raspberries.

Louiz said...

My parents had a pear tree that went crazy one year - I would imagine that my mum's pear pudding would work for apples too - take apple, core it, cover with a sprinkle of brown sugar, stuff currents or dried fruits in place of the core, put in oven until done. Eat with ice cream. Or cream. Or custard. Or, eventually, with resignation!

Also apple jam.

Toni said...

Mmmm they look delicious! Set a place at the table for me!

Jeanne said...

I have a deyhdrator in my cellar that makes those dried apple slices. If you were a geographical neighbor, instead of a virtual one, I'd loan it to you!

Catherine said...

Rachel, you are so lucky! We have had dreadful weather in Ireland and our apple harvest is non-existent, with small spotted apples on the cookers. We have wild blackberries alright but they thrive in rain, and plums are not doing well either. So enjoy the fruit and think of us here! I think the apple situation is all over the country. We had blossom but the wind and rain all summer put paid to fruit setting on the branches. We had a great harvest last year, apple tarts till march or april!
GOod luck,
Catherine.

Kazzy said...

Our apples won't be ready for another month, but I love to bottle apple pie filling. Are fruit dehydrators easy to come by there? We have one of those. You slice the fruit and place them on these small screens and plug it in. Air blows through and dries the fruit out nicely.

Chef E said...

That sounds scrumptious! I still keep thinking about our meal we had, and am working on making more vegetarian foods...this would be something hubby and I eat at least once a week...I have a dehydrator as well...

erin - heart in ireland said...

Those apples look delicious!

And thanks, and haha, when I think of Henley I think of the Thames and rowing too! But a henley is a type of shirt. It is the last one, the pink one.

Brooke said...

Okay, I am seriously hungry now. That all looks delicious!

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