Happy Apple Day and Mary Anne’s Cushion Recipe!

Friday 21st October is officially Apple Day 2011! So to celebrate this most versatile of fruits I’m bringing you some amazing apple facts and a fabulous apple recipe!

Did you know?

  • Traditional orchards have declined by nearly 60% in the UK since the 1950s (a sad fact)
  • Only 31% of eating apples sold in the UK are home-grown, despite the fact that 2,200 varieties exist in this country today
  • There has been a recent project by the National Trust to restore apple orchards (http://www.orchardnetwork.org.uk/content/orchard-project-celebrations)
  • The National Trust is encouraging people to support orchards in the UK and buy British grown apples
  • Awareness of British grown apples has decreased throughout the generations – 83% of over 55s correctly said that Cox’s Orange Pippin was British grown, compared to only 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds.

Apples are such a versatile fruit, great as a snack and perfect as an ingredient in soups, main meals, desserts and even drinks.

The fabulous Bramley Seedling Apple celebrates it’s 202nd birthday this year. The following recipe honours the memory of Mary Anne Brailsford. In 1809 this young lady from Southwell in Nottinghamshire planted some apple pips left over from her mother’s cooking. One of these pips grew to become the very first Bramley Seedling apple tree.

Mary Anne’s Cushion

What You’ll Need

400g Puff pastry

1 Bramley apple – peeled,

quartered, cored and sliced

70g Apricot jam

55g Unsalted butter – softened

1 Egg – beaten

15g Plain flour

55g Caster sugar

55g Ground almonds

Icing sugar for glazing

Egg wash

Step 1

Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7. Roll out a third of the pastry and cut into a 20cm circle. Place on a baking sheet and spread the centre with the apricot jam, keeping a clear edge to the pastry of 2–3cm.

Step 2

Cream together the butter and sugar, add the beaten egg and fold in the flour and ground almonds. Spread the almond mixture over the jam, leaving the pastry edges clear.

Step 3

Arrange the apple slices evenly over the almond mixture. Brush the base pastry edges with egg wash. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into a circle large enough to cover the apple filling to the edge of the base pastry. Seal and decorate the edges. Brush with egg wash.

Step 4

Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 250C/475F/Gas Mark 9. Dust the cushion with icing sugar and when up to temperature, return to the oven to glaze. This will only take a few minutes, so take care it does not burn.

Have a happy and delicious Apple Day!


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