Don’t these look like the kind of apple that was Sleeping Beauty’s downfall! They are winesaps, one of 170 different heritage apples grown by Borrie Gartrell at Borodell on the slopes of Mount Canobalas in Orange. They are crisp and juicy and mildly flavoured, unlike the big fat green Bramleys that Borodell uses in its famous apple pie. Even if you can’t get Bramleys, try the apple pie!
Easy: Borrodell apple pie
80g sour cream
1kg bramley apples, peeled and diced
Mix flour and butter together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sour cream and mix to form dough. Rest for 30 minutes. Divide in two and roll out, using one half to line a pie tin, and reserving the other half for a lid.
Cook the apples with the sugar and the seeds scraped from the vanilla bean. Allow to cool, then fill the tart case, and cover with the reserved lid. Brush the top with egg and let the pie rest for 30 minutes while the oven heats to 190 C.
Bake at 190 C for 10 minutes, then at 160 C for 30 minutes.
Easier: Butterscotch apple crumble
Peel and slice four large apples. Toss them in the juice of half a lemon, and a heaped tablespoon of brown sugar. Pile into an ovenproof dish and dot with butter.
To make the crumble topping, whiz a quarter of a cup each of self-raising flour, rolled oats, desiccated coconut and brown sugar, with a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of cinnamon in a food processor to combine. Then add 100g of butter, cut in small chunks, and process until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the apples. Bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and the apples are bubbling along the edges.
Easiest: Baked apples
Granny smiths work really well for this because they go fluffy when you cook them. I’m going to try the winesaps this way too. Raisins and sultanas are traditional, but I can’t go past a prune!
For each apple to be stuffed, chop a de-seeded prune or two and a knob of crystallised ginger. Mix with a teaspoon of dark brown sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract. Core the apples, stuff them with the prunes, and top with a knob of butter. Stand them, nestled together, in a baking dish and add a centimetre of water. Bake in a moderate oven for about 40 minutes, until soft all the way through.