My mum bought me Monty Don’s recipe book a few years ago – it’s stuffed with very bourgeois meals, laced with butter, wine and cream, and I love it. One of my favourite recipes is for apple sauce and it’s perfect for this time of year when the trees all around the Cornish lanes are heavy with fruit.
Out on our walk the other morning we came across an apple tree draped over the path dripping with bright red fruit and the path way littered with wind falls. So we stopped, picked up the best of the fallen apples and pocketed them with Monty’s recipe in mind. I have no idea what type of apple they are, but when you cut through them a lovely pink hue runs from the skin into the flesh of the fruit and they’re sweet, deliciously so.
The recipe is very simple and listed below (I hope Monty doesn’t mind me sharing it). And what I love to do is make a huge batch for the entire week, it’s perfect with yogurt and seeds for breakfast or as an accompaniment to another Monty recipe of pork rolled in fennel seeds and roasted on a bed of bay leaves. Yum!
You can buy Monty’s book from Amazon
1 quince (optional)
50 g caster sugar, or to taste, depending on the apple variety
Juice of 1/2 a lemon and possibly a piece of lemon peel
50g unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper (I omit this to keep it versatile for both sweet and savory dishes)
A pinch of cinnamon or grated nutmeg (optional)
Peel, core and roughly chop the apples. If you are adding a quince, peel, core and chop it into much smaller pieces than the apples as it is harder and takes longer to soften.
Place the fruit in a saucepan with 150ml water and simmer until soft and pulpy, about 10-15 minutes, longer if you are using quince. Taste and add the lemon juice if the apples are bland. Add the butter and beat into the sauce until it has a smooth, glossy consistency. Stir in the pepper and spice, if using.
Serve warm. The sauce can be made several hours in advance and reheated.