When are apples in season in the UK?
The best time to harvest apples in the UK is from August to November. The first variety that is ready to be picked is Discovery. Other apples ripen late in September through to October. One of the latest varieties of the season is D’Arcy Spice. These apples are usually picked in November and can be stored long after Christmas.
Where do the UK import apples from?
The apple production in the UK has been growing over the last 10 years, yet in 2017 the UK was only 31percent self-sufficient for apples. To fulfil the demand a great number of apples sold in the shops are imported from EU countries like France, Italy, Germany or as far as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
The varieties commonly available from the fresh fruit section are Pink Lady, Jazz, Gala, Empire, Heritage, Cox, Braeburn, Golden Delicious and Bramley apples.
How to store apples?
When you buy fresh apples you can keep them in a fruit bowl at room temperature for up to a week. If you need to store them for several weeks it’s good to leave them in a paper bag in the fridge.
A cool, dark and dry place like a cellar or even a garage is the ideal place for storing apples in fruit crates for months. Try to avoid temperature changes though.
Early and mid-season variates like Discovery should be eaten or used as soon as possible as they don’t keep well. Late-season apples picked directly from the tree are the best for long term storage. Especially varieties like D’Arcy Spice, Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith or Gala.
Don’t store fallen apples, they are bruised and will spoil sooner. Store the apples in a crate in a single layer and make sure there is a space between each apple.
Regularly inspect apples and discard those that are bad.
Can you freeze fresh apples?
You can freeze peeled and core apple wedges or slices and use them later for making pies or apple crumble. Frozen apples change their texture so it’s recommended to use them mainly for cooking.
Apple sauce or sliced apples cooked with sugar are good for freezing too and some people might prefer them as opposed to freezing fresh apples.
Frozen apples will last around 8 months in the freezer and more likely longer if they are kept in a sealed bag or an air-tight container.
What to make with lots of apples?
As mentioned above you can freeze fresh or cooked apples. You can also preserve apples in glass jars by canning.
Apple sauce, puree, jellies or Apple Butter are good for canning. Ideally, use apples that turn to mush when cooked like Braeburn, Jonathan, McIntosh.
Be safe and avoid any flour, potato starch or cornstarch for thickening apple sauce or puree if you are planning to preserve it. It isn’t considered safe for home canning.
Crisp apples that are firmer like Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Jonagold are good choices for Canned Apple Slices as they won’t fall apart.
Eventually, If you have a fruit press you can use lots of apples to make apple juice.
What flavours pair well with apple?
The best spice and most often used in combination with apple is cinnamon. But there are other amazing spices, herbs and flavours that compliment apples. Here are some of them:
- Star anise
- Pecan Nuts
- Peanut Butter
- Cheddar cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Cottage Cheese
Recipe Ideas with Apples
Apples are in the spotlight during the autumn and winter seasons. Fresh, frozen or canned apples can be used to make many delicious snacks, meals and desserts.
It’s natural to crave sweet, comforting and spicy food when the days are getting shorter and the temperature is declining. A warm slice of Homemade Apple Pie is a good choice for a traditional autumn dessert. You can also warm up your day with these golden Apple Fritters coated with sugar.
Simple bread pudding is a clever way to use stale bread or brioche loaf and this recipe for Layered Bread Pudding incorporates grated apples with cinnamon. Warm or cold, it makes a perfect breakfast.
Sweet tray bakes are always a handy option when you are baking for a large family. It’s easy to cut them into a number of tasty portions. You can try this Apple Crumble Cake with a lovely moist sponge, crunchy top and a hint of cinnamon.
If you can’t decide between Apple Hand Pies (by the way these are vegan) and Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies you can combine both and make these lovely Apple Pie Cookies instead. Be aware, that it’s hard to stop nibbling on them as one won’t be enough.
What is a good substitute for apple?
If you need to substitute apples in an apple pie, crumble or tart look for pears or plums in the first place. Those are the closest seasonal options to apples. That said, there isn’t harm to experiment with other types of fruit.
Grated apples mixed in a cake sponge is easy to replace with grated courgette.
Some low fat or vegan recipes might be calling for apple sauce in baking. This ingredient is replaceable by mashed banana, pumking puree or sweet potatoe puree.