The first Apple Day was held on October 21 in 1990 in the old Apple Market in Covent Garden, London, bringing fruit back there for the first time in 17 years. Apple Day is now an annual celebration of our most versatile fruit and the beautiful bio-diverse orchards they come from. Common Ground have worked to extend, support and promote Apple Day countrywide through nurseries, fruit farms, restaurants, National Trust and RHS gardens, museums, art centres, community groups and schools who celebrate the day in their own place, in their own way.
Common Ground’s Sue Clifford says; “Apple Day is not a marketing device, its creation has been impelled by altruism and idealism for living better with nature – the apple and the orchard are symbols of hope. They demonstrate how we can have our trees, bees, bats, butterflies, birds and badgers whilst growing good fruit to eat and drink.”
There are lots of events taking place across the UK to celebrate Apple Day – find out more here. If you’ve got a glut of apples and are looking for tasty recipes to make the most of them, we’ve picked our three favourites:
Apple and Sweet Potato Muffins (from Leith’s Vegetarian Bible)
Delicious, moist and more-ish, these are tasty lunchbox treats.
340g/12oz sweet potatoes
110ml/4fl oz water
225g/8oz cooking apples
225g/8oz plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
140g/5oz caster sugar
110ml/4fl oz milk
85g/3oz dried apricots, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a tray of 12 large muffin tins with paper cases.
2. Peel the sweet potato and cut into small dice. Put into a saucepan with the water. Bring to the boil, cover and cook over a very low heat for 5-10 mins, stirring occasionally. Do not let the mixture dry out and add more water if necessary.
3. Peel and core the apples and cut into small dice. Add to the softened sweet potato. Cook over a low heat until the apple is soft. Ensure that the mixture does not dry out and add more water if necessary. Mash with a fork or potato masher to remove any lumps. Allow to cool.
4. Sift the flour with the bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl. Add the sugar.
5. Melt the butter and allow to cool.
6. Mix the egg and milk together and add to the sweet potato mixture. Add the cooled butter and apricots.
7. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the sweet potato mixture. Mix quickly and thoroughly, using a hand whisk or fork.
8. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the muffins are risen and firm and spring back when pressed lightly.
Apple chutney (from Garden to Kitchen Expert by Judith Wills and Dr. D. G. Hessayon)
Delicious with cheese and biscuits or as a delightful sandwich addition. Great for Christmas gifts too!
Makes approx. 5 × 400g (14oz) jars
1.5kg (3 ½ lb) apples
750g (1 lb 10 oz) onions
1 litre (1 ¾ pints) malt vinegar
500g (1 ¼ lb) sultanas
1kg (2 ¼ lb) soft light brown sugar
2 tsp fresh chopped ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp salt
1. Put peeled, cored and shopped apples and peeled, chopped onions into a pan with vinegar. Simmer for an hour, then add remaining ingredients and stir over very low heat until sugar is dissolved.
2. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pot into sterilised jars.
Apple and lemon coleslaw (from Leith’s Vegetarian Bible)
Good coleslaw is hard to resist and makes a great side dish.
1 red-skinned dessert apple
1 green-skinned dessert apple
3 tbsp lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
6 tbsp mayonnaise
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
285g/ 10oz white cabbage
6 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
225g/8oz carrots, coarsely grated
4 sticks of celery, thinly sliced
1. Cut the apple into quarters, cut out the cores and cut the fruit into small pieces. Add 1 tbsp of the lemon juice and toss together well.
2. Put the lemon zest, mayonnaise and yoghurt into a bowl and mix together well. Gradually mix in the remaining lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Put the cabbage, spring onions, carrot and celery into the bowl with the apples and toss together well. Stir in the lemon mayonnaise mixture and adjust the seasoning to taste.