So having been to a great event last week where we could take our own apples and turn them into juice this weekend we have…………………………………………been to a great event where we could take our own apples and turn them into juice!
Today we trolled off to nearby Cogges Manor Farm, a very old farmhouse now being run as a charity, with a yard full of animals and a veg garden full of delicious looking veg. We met some lovely clean looking pigs, some ornate chickens and some very friendly (if slightly nibbly) goats. Now as we went into some detail last week we will not bore you with tales of apple juice making, but basically we left with 5 bottles of apple juice in return for our bucket of apples. a good day’s work!
Also in the farmhouse some volunteers were showcasing Victorian cookery, very Downton Abbey and very much up Becksie’s street! On offer were samples of some amazing apple Welsh Cakes, cooked on a hot griddle on their range (which Becksie is planning to try cooking on top of our log burner) and the most amazing apple curd ever tasted, which Becksie thinks Ian will keep badgering her about until she makes some.
That was not all for the appley treats, as we arrived they had just finished off making a few toffee apples. Now Ian loves toffee apples, and in days of yore around this time of year he could always be found in the supermarket reduced section looking out for any knock-down treats (not this year though). So….first toffee apple of the year for Ian, but in front of him in the queue were two small children, with just two toffee apples left. Did it cross Ian’s mind to barge the children and their parents out of the way? Yes, a little bit, but rationality thankfully prevailed and the two children took the two last apples and Ian was left a little disappointed, but without having sad and possibly injured children resting on his conscience.
To make a somewhat grumpy Ian a little cheerier Becksie told him a little secret that she has kept from telling him for the last 10 years, mainly so that he does not ask her all the time. She told him just how easy it was to make toffee apples so…………………Ian has expanded his ever-growing repertoire of sweet recipes, and (perhaps for the first time) we have a cooking and recipe demo by Ian – Cafe Pugh does toffee apples!!
Take 2 apples (Becksie had to point out that these should be eaters, not cookers)
100g of caster sugar (golden if you have it)
1 tbsp of Golden Syrup
a dash of vinegar
Cover your apples in boiling water to remove any coating and to help the toffee stick to the skin. Dry the apples, stick a skewer or lolly stick through the middle and place on some grease-proof paper.
Cook over a good heat for 5 mins or so, until your sugar thermometer reaches 140c, at least that is what the recipe we read said, we don’t have a sugar thermometer so Ian went for the whole ‘take some out, drop it into cool water and if it goes brittle it is ready’ approach.
When the sugar is ready quickly dip the apples in and spin them round to cover them, then pour any left over toffee over the top of them. Let them cool and harden for a few minutes on the grease-proof paper.
Voila, perfect for a sweet little snack, and as they are 90% apple that means they are 90% healthy!!