Baked Apples

Lord Lambourne Apples

Malus domestica

Lord Lambourne was introduced in 1907 and is very much in the tradition of classic English high-quality dessert apples. It has the pleasing uniform shape – round, and not too flattened – and typical orange flush over green, with a hint of russet. On biting into a Lord Lambourne the first thing that strikes you is the juice and acidity. The flesh is creamy-white and quite crisp, and the flavour is pleasantly strong.

During my day at my mother’s shop last Saturday, I found this wonderful box of ripe, fresh looking apples. They are one of the eating varieties that suits cooking too and so I have popped a quick recipe below for using such delicious apples, although with a piece of cheese and some chutney would be just as heavenly!

Baked Apples with Raisin Ice Cream

  • 50ml cider brandy
  • 85g dried fruit, such as sultanas, raisins and chopped prunes
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • the finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 largeish eating apples
  • and if you want to make the ice cream:

  • 75ml cider brandy
  • 120g raisins
  • 6 medium egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 250ml double cream
  •  

    1. Begin with the ice cream. Pour the cider brandy over the raisins and leave to macerate overnight.

    baked dessert apples

    2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until smooth. Put the milk in a pan and bring to just below boiling, then remove from the heat. Leave to cool slightly, then pour the milk on to the egg and sugar mixture, whisking all the time.

    3. Pour the mixture in to a clean pan and heat gently, stirring all the time, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Don’t let it get too hot or it will split. Remove from the heat. Strain through a sieve and leave to cool, then chill. When cold, stir in the cream.

    4. Churn the custard in an ice cream machine. When the mixture is thick and doubled in volume, tip in the raisins and their soaking brandy. This will thin the ice cream so continue to churn until it returns to its former volume.

    5. Transfer to a freezerproof container and freeze until firm. The alcohol prevents the ice cream from setting rock-solid so you’ll be able to scoop it straight from the freezer.

    6. Put the dried fruit for the apples in a small bowl and pour over the cider brandy. Leave to macerate for at least one hour, or overnight.

    7. Preheat the oven to 150°c/Gas Mark 2.

    8. Beat the soaked fruit into the softened butter, along with the cinnamon, sugar and lemon zest. Core the apples and stuff the cavities with the spiced fruit butter. Arrange in an ovenproof dish, smearing any extra butter over the tops.

    9. Cover with foil and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until soft, but not collapsing. Remove the foil about two-thirds of the way through cooking.

    10. Serve the apples, hot, with their buttery juices spooned over them and a scoop of the brandy and raisin ice cream on the side.

    And should the wim take you, you can buy trees from here: http://www.ashridgetrees.co.uk/Lord-Lambourne-Apple-Trees

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