brie baked apples
October has been a month of food related celebrations: National Apple Day, National Baking Week and the RSPB’s Feed the Birds Day activities took place all over the UK at the weekend. Mulling over how I could combine two celebrations in one and use some of Derek’s golden delicious apples I recalled a promotional advert for French cheeses I’d once seen in a magazine: apples stuffed with camembert, rolled in chopped nuts and baked in the oven. mmmmm
to make brie baked apples
4 golden delicious apples
250g castor sugar
200g chopped hazlenuts
1tsp ground pepper
- Place the sugar, water and pepper in a large saucepan and bring to the boil to make a syrup
- Peel the apples leaving the stalk intact. Carefully remove the core from the bottom of each apple so the stalk is not lost.
- Poach the apples in the syrup for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and stuff each apple with a piece of camembert/brie
- Place the chopped hazlenuts in a wide bowl and roll each apple in nuts until lightly covered
- Pre-heat the oven to 200c/400F/gas mark 6. Place the apples in a lightly buttered metal tray, scatter any remaining nuts over the apples and roast for 10 minutes.
- Serve with creme fraiche, cream or ice-cream as a pudding for 4 people or a light lunch for 2
The finished result looks quite rustic and homely but if you prefer a cleaner, neater finish I’d recommend buying pre-chopped nuts. I used whole hazlenuts (hence the dark brown speckles from the skin) and chopped them myself using my coffee grinder but as you can see they’re not chopped they’re… hmm, ground!
I wanted to do my bit for Feed the Birds week as well and decided the wild birds at the allotment needed my sunflower seeds more than I did. They’ve made light work of nibbling on my giant russians.If you want to turn your garden into a buffet table for wild birds the RSPB’s five top tips for helping wildlife survive the winter are:
- Plant native plants such as hawthorn, ivy and honeysuckle that will provide berries in the winter for adult birds, and insects for young birds in spring
- Make a log pile – it will be the ideal place for insects, fungi, mosses and lichens
- Provide an insect home – insects will spend the winter in these
- Install nesting boxes for birds such as house sparrows, winter hibernation places for hedgehogs, and roosting boxes for bats
- Create a water feature such as a pond or bog garden – much wildlife relies on a regular supply of freshwater