This is the time when apple trees shed a lot of fruit well before they are ripe enough to eat. Rather than leave them to rot or even put on a compost heap this the ideal moment to make apple purée.
If you possess a mouli legume then this is one of the easiest deserts to make. If not you can use a sieve.
1- 2 kg windfall eating apples
4 or 5 cloves
300-400 ml water
Dark brown muscovado sugar – to taste
Cut up the apples roughly removing the stalks, any bruising and insect damage. Leave the skins on as they will give the purée extra flavour and smooth texture.
Place in a large saucepan with the water and put on a medium heat until the fruit begins to soften. Add the spices and put the lid on the pan and lower the heat a little. Check from time to time and stir with a wooden spoon. Add a little more water if it seems too thick. Cook until all the fruit is soft and fluffy.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Place a sieve ( or mouli ) over a large bowl and press as much of the fruit as possible through with a large spoon.
While the purée is still warm add stir in a couple of tablepoons of muscovado sugar. Taste and adjust the sweetness to your taste.
Apple purée freezes well. It is delicious as a desert with ice crem, custard or yohurt and on breakfast cereal.
Recipe: Campbell Hackforth-Jones