Apple delight in November’s kitchen

Our apple harvest has been great this year and we’ve been busy processing them over the last couple of weeks. We had a juicing session last weekend which has given us plenty of bottles to squirrel away, the freezer has loads of crumbles and puree ready to enjoy over the winter and the best keepers like Bramley and Markham Pippin have gone into store.

Bramley apples are my favourite cooker of course being a Nottinghamshire lass and make the best baked apples ever but I tried baking a Newton Wonder last night and had such an explosion of apple fluff in the oven! It was fine for the first 20 minutes or so but then suddenly turned to mush. It tasted great but definitely one to use for purée not baking!

We try and check the stored apples every week to make sure none are going off. If one is just starting to turn then I try and use the undamaged part or throw it into the garden for the birds to enjoy!

This recipe uses half a large Bramley so I have the perfect excuse to make it when I have to rescue part of an apple from the store!

It’s a sweet treat that can be enjoyed any time of the day! Slightly crunchy on the top with a lovely gooey centre.

Apple and date oaty bars

Takes about an hour plus cooling time. Serves 9-12 depending on how big you cut the pieces!

140g cored, peeled and chopped cooking apple

140g stoned dates, chopped

2 tablespoons water

225g butter

200g soft brown sugar

175g plain flour

1 teaspoon bicarb of soda

100g porridge oats

1 teaspoon cinnamon or mixed spice

  • Grease and line an 18cm square shallow baking tin and preheat your oven to 190C/fan 170/gas 5
  • Put the apples into a smallish saucepan along with the water and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring every now and again.
  • Add dates to apple web
  • Tip in the dates and continue to cook gently for another 5 minutes until the dates have broken down and the apples are soft. Use a fork to break down any apple lumpy bits and mix together well. Leave to cool.
  • Mash apple in dates - web
  • Mix together the oats, flour, bicarb, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl whilst you melt the butter over a gentle heat.
  • Pour the butter into the oaty mixture and stir well to combine all the ingredients
  • Apple & date otay bars - stir through butter web
  • Press half the mix into the baking tin and press down firmly. Top with the apple and date puree then cover with the remaining oat mixture. Press down to spread and cover the fruit.
  • Apple & date oaty bars - spread fruit over base web
  • Pop into the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and firm on top. Cool in the tin then cut into squares.

This is great with a cuppa but works really well warmed with some vanilla ice cream for a pud. It freezes well too so you can have a square whenever you fancy!

Apple & date oaty bars - finished 2 web