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PUBLISHED: 10:48 04 December 2013 | UPDATED: 10:52 04 December 2013

Baked Gingerbread Apples (recipe of the month)

Baked Gingerbread Apples (recipe of the month)

Mike Cooper Photography

Helen Stiles rounds up some delicious seasonal treats from around the county and the latest foodie news

Recipe of the month

Baked gingerbread apples

This month’s recipe comes from Hannah Miles’ brilliant new book Sweet Things From The Aga

In the autumn, when the apple trees in my garden are laden, I love to make baked apples. They may be an old-fashioned dessert, but they are quick and easy to prepare and are a perfect Aga dish which can be left cooking slowly in the Simmering Oven until you are ready to serve. Baked apples are ideal for Bonfire Night and Halloween parties, when you need something warm and comforting to eat while standing outdoors (usually in the rain!). Traditionally, they are filled only with syrup and sultanas, but I have added a spicy ginger kick to mine – with gingerbread crumbs and stem ginger. I used red as well as green apples here, just for variety of colour, but green apples on their own will do nicely. Baked gingerbread apples are best eaten on the day they are made, but can be kept in the refrigerator and reheated the following day.

Preparation: 10 minutes | Baking: Appoximately 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients (serves 6)

6 large cooking apples

2 balls of stem ginger preserved in syrup

100g gingerbread (such as Jamaican ginger cake), crumbled

60g raisins or sultanas

6 tablespoon golden syrup


1 Using a sharp knife, score a thin line horizontally around the centre of each apple;

this will prevent the skins from splitting during cooking. Remove the cores using an apple corer to make a large hole in the middle of each apple (I usually remove three plugs with the apple corer to make this larger). Place the apples in a roasting pan or Aga-proof dish.

2 Finely chop the preserved stem ginger, then mix this together with the gingerbread crumbs and raisins or sultanas. Fill each apple with the ginger mixture. Spoon the golden syrup over the apples and add 6 tablespoons of water to the dish.

3 Bake in the Roasting Oven beneath a cold shelf (or in the Baking Oven) for 20–30 minutes, then transfer to the Simmering Oven and slow cook for a further 1 hour until the apples are soft. You can keep the apples warm in the simmering oven for a few further hours if you wish. Serve each apple with a drizzle of the cooking syrup and some cream or custard if you wish. For an extra treat, serve them with golden custard to which you’ve added a little of the syrup from the preserved stem ginger.

Taken from Sweet Things From The Aga by Hannah Miles with photographs by Mike Cooper (Absolute Press £17.99). The book is available for the special price of £13.50 excluding postage and packing by telephoning 01256 302 699 and quoting the code GLR 9EI.

The inaugural Great Dorset Cider Festival, to be held at the Castle Inn, in West Lulworth next June (13-29 June), is endeavouring to have every Dorset made cider and perry available as well as over a 100 other ciders and perries from around the country. The Castle Inn would love to hear from local cider makers who would like to get involved with the festival, as well as any artisan food producers in Dorset who may like to show off their wares. Find out more at dorsetciderfestival.com


On the Grapevine

Heathcote House’s “perfect breakfast”

Aga-cooked breakfasts, homemade fig jam and freshly baked cakes have helped Kate Guilor’s boutique-style B & B in Millborne St Andrew achieve a coveted gold at the Taste of the West awards for hospitality. Judges declared that the breakfasts at Heathcote House were “perfect”. (heathcotehouse.co.uk)

Hopeful Hop packs a punch

Badger’s new seasonal cask ale Hopeful Hop, launched during Cask Ale Week in late September, will be available at Hall & Woodhouse pubs until the end of November. The new beer, created by Badger’s Head Brewer Toby Heasman, is a single-hop light, golden beer brewed solely with Celeia hops for a powerful citrus hop aroma and subtle bitter finish. (badgerales.com)

Breakfast with a beet

Primrose’s Kitchen in Rampisham have brought out two new raw vegetable gluten free muesli mixes - Raw Beetroot and Ginger with milk thistle seeds and lethicin and Raw Carrot, Apple and Cinnamon with chia seeds and psyllium husks. To order onine or find local sotckists vist primroseskitchen.com

Capreolus is a Taste of the West champion

Capreolus Fine Foods, a family-owned artisan smokehouse based at Rampisham won an outstanding ten Gold awards from ten entries in the ‘Cured Meat’ and ‘Bacon’ categories - a first for Taste of the West’s ‘Product Awards’. Also celebrating Gold are the Town Mill Cheesemonger, Washingpool Farm, The Three Horseshoes at Powerstock and Beaminster Brasserie at the Bridgehouse. For a full list of all the Dorset winners visit tasteofthewest.co.uk

Tally Ho! wins CAMRA awards

Bridport’s Palmers Brewery has won a brace of awards in the CAMRA Beer of Britain championships with their oldest fine ale, Tally Ho! The strong beer won Gold in the Old Ale and Strong Mild category and Bronze in the Supreme Champion class for the London and South East region. (palmersbrewery.com)

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