The sun sets to the front of my house and sometimes, if I get home on time (and there’s actually a sunset here in Roscommon), I sit on the front step to watch and feel the warmth. It reminds me of being young, sitting in the front garden, where all the world can see you lounging.  We used to be fairly naked, if I recall correctly, having ‘swimming pools’ in tubs out there.

My uncle let me know about a big tree of cooking apples he had a couple of weeks ago – fruit from which was free for the taking.  He lives just up the road from me and I pass his house a couple of times a day but haven’t had the time to stop and pick.  I wanted to be prepared to pack them up and store them away for the winter.  So as I drove into his driveway this evening you can imagine my dismay when the tree looked pretty bare!  It turns out someone was helping themselves yesterday (to very large bagfuls) so my uncle had to pick them and hide some away.  Phew!  They were in hiding and I could still have some.  I returned happy to my front step.

Apple Workstation on Front Step


Before Wrapping



So you can see I used newspaper to wrap them up.  The idea I suppose is to separate the apples so if one goes bad they don’t all follow suit.  Any suggestions for optimum winter storage welcome please??

I didn’t include any that had blemishes, spots or bruises for fear they would ruin everything.

I’m now munching on blackberry and apple crumble.  This is one of a small repertoire of desserts we had in my home house growing up  (and still is) – along with apple tart or rhubarb crumble.  It is considered by all to be the best though and my mother guards her freezer supply carefully, often coming out with a stash of blackberries in early summer.  I had no white flour here tonight so I made the crumble with wheatmeal flour, oats, dark brown sugar and butter.  The base was just 2 medium apples peeled and thinly sliced tossed with about 3/4 cup of my precious blackberries from the freezer and 3 tbsp dark brown sugar.  As is tradition, the ingredients for the crumble topping are never weighed.  Below is just an estimation by me.  The topping was really delicious – think this was largely down to the caramely flavour from the dark brown sugar and the liberal helping of butter I rubbed in.


Crumble Topping:

200g wheatmeal flour

60g porridge oats

60g dark brown sugar

100g butter

Mix the dry ingredients together and rub in the butter.  The consistency is clumpy but yum when cooked!

Place the fruit tossed in sugar in a small casserole.  Top with crumble and bake at 180C for 30 minutes.  The apples stay quite firm in this recipe – I know my mother always cooks the frozen berries with the apple for 5 or 10 minutes first and then adds the sugar.  One of the things I realised I like about crumble this evening is less sugar with the fruit and a nice sweet crumble so you can really taste the tart fruit and then complement it with a helping of crumble on each spoonful.

Blackberry & Apple Crumble


3 responses to this post.

  1. Wow Sarah that is some crop of apples. enjoy the crumble Vick x


  2. Posted by Roisin on October 11, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I wonder who is stealing all the apples in the neighbourhood??
    Great job Sarah, I love your blog! It’s so comforting and is just what we need coming into winter.


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