Baked apples with verjuice and clove crumb
Apples are at their glorious best in autumn, and there's nothing better than sweet baked apples with a gently spiced crumb and a spoon of clotted cream or quality vanilla ice-cream – simple flavours I never tire of. Plate individual apples with a dollop of clotted cream and a handful of crumb, or cut the cooked apples in half and pile them on a platter and scatter over the crumbs for something less formal. It's worth seeking out some interesting little organic apples for this, as they're the stars of the show.
Lovely simple Autumn sweet: Baked apples with verjuice. Photo: Bonnie Savage
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10 small apples, organic if possible, peeled but leave the stems attached
120g castor sugar
peel of 1/2 lemon, pith removed
clotted cream, to serve
150g plain flour
100g brown sugar
50ml olive oil
2 tsp ground cloves
1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced or 200C conventional. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. For the clove crumb, add all the ingredients to a large bowl and rub together with your fingers until combined. Spread over the prepared tray and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.
3. Butter a baking dish generously with the butter and add the apples.
4. In a small saucepan, bring the verjuice, sugar and lemon peel to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup over the apples and bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until tender and slightly coloured.
5. Crumble the clove crumb over the apples and serve with clotted cream.
1. You can add more spice to this with some mixed spice in the crumb, or by adding some cinnamon sticks to the baking dish.
2. This recipe will also work well with small pears.
3. Add a splash of vinegar and a bay leaf to the baking dish, skip the crumb, season with salt and pepper and serve as a side for roast pork.