April 22, 2015

Poached cider saffron apples…It’s all about community

Fact: There are some really lovely people in Orange, NSW. We have lived here for two years now and in that time I have met some spirited, philanthropic and community minded people who are passionate about sharing their local love of beautiful, seasonal produce with a gift and swap here and there. Some new friends have almost become second family when we are far from the support of our own and I like to cook for them to express my gratitude.

Apples have been a gift lately, many gorgeous heirloom varieties are sitting in our fruit bowl and given the horrid weather; torrential rain (farmers rejoice!) lately I am thinking up many warming dishes in which to use them.

Heritage apples lined upCider Saffron poached applesBrown sugar coconut crumbleCider Saffron Apples with orange cream and crumble

There are many shapes, sizes and colours from friends, some picked at Borrodell Vineyard www.borrodell.com.au Borry grows 170 varieties of heritage eating, cooking and cider apples on his property and the first bite of a fresh apple after picking it off the tree is a wonderful experience there.

With an abundance of apples in Orange, saffron grown locally and my friend’s local cider www.smallacrescyder.com.au it is a tempting thought to combine the three ingredients and create an aromatic medley of poached cider saffron apples.

Cider Saffron poached apples

This is a quick and simple way to enjoy apples especially if you have a few which have…let’s just say been sitting on the shelf for a while.

It goes without saying that apples are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are high in fibre, flavonoids and vitamin C. By poaching, you still receive a similar nutritional benefit and they are digested more easily. Apples are a fairly healthy addition to a number of dishes; on muesli/granola for breakfast, in desserts or just on their own in a large bowl of the syrup if you reduce it down a bit further.

Today, I’m serving them with cream and a crumble. It’s a dessert that you can whip up in under an hour. Please note, if you would like a dairy free alternative to the cream, please also see my recipe for macadamia cream below bottom (you will need to prepare this in advance).

Cider saffron poached apples with orange cream and brown sugar crumble

Ingredients:

Poached apples

5-6 apples cut into segments (cored and peeled)

Pinch of saffron

1/4 cup boiled water

330 ml of cider

Brown sugar coconut crumble

70 gm butter unsalted at room temperature (for dairy free option, substitute with Nuttelex or dairy free baking spread).

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup plain flour

1/4 brown sugar

1/4 cup almonds finely chopped

1/2 cup desiccated or shredded coconut

Orange cream

1 cup thickened cream for whipping

zest of 1 orange

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

pomegranate arils for garnish

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C.

2. Drop saffron and boiled water in a jug for 10 minutes and top with cider for a further 20 minutes.

3. Place apples into a small saucepan and pour over saffron over them and poach on a low simmering heat for 15-20 minutes until softened and bright yellow, set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, add oats, flour, cinnamon and sugar and work butter into it with fingertips. Once evenly mixed add coconut and almonds and mix with hands. Lay out on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes tossing half way through with a spoon so it evenly crisps up.

5. Whip cream and vanilla paste together and then add orange zest in at the end. Alternatively, prepare macadamia nut cream.

6. Spoon crumble onto plate, add a spoon of cream and top with cider saffron poached apples and liquid with a garnish of pomegranate arils on top.

Cider Saffron poached apples with orange cream and crumble

Dairy free Macadamia cream – you will require a fine blender for this like a Vitamix or nutribullet for this recipe.

2 cups of macadamias

3 dates pitted and chopped

1 cup water (reserved from macadamias soaking)

zest of 1 orange and juice from orange (approx 1/4 cup)

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1. Soak macadamia nuts and dates in a bowl covered with water for a minimum of 30 mins – 1 hour. Drain, reserving 1 cup of liquid.

2. In a fine blender combine macadamia nuts, dates, orange juice, water and vanilla bean paste until creamy.

Macadamia cream should last 1-2 days in fridge. You can use this on breakfast cereal in place of yoghurt or semi-frozen to substitute for ice-cream.

Enjoy!

Cider Saffron poached apples with brown sugar crumble

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