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!
If you like this apple recipe you might be interested in my apple roundup post 5 ways with .. a ton of apples.
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