According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the most widely produced fruit in the world (I’m not counting tomatoes, cause I think it’s cheating) is bananas, followed by watermelon and apples. And I think those figures are probably matched by their popularity among children – they all seem to love apples and bananas, and very few don’t like watermelon.
You know what I’m going to say now of course – my Mr M can’t stand bananas! They are probably his single biggest food hate, apart maybe from mushy peas…
On the plus side, he loves apples and watermelon and quite a few other fruit, but, and this is a big but, he is also fussy about texture, so apples that are mealy or mushy or anything apart from super crisp are no go.
This can be a bit of a problem when I get overenthusiastic picking heirloom apples like the beauties above, as they sometimes don’t stay crisp as well, and some cooking varieties are more floury from the beginning. Even when I haven’t been buying up big, there always seem to be a couple of apples at the bottom of the bowl that no-one wants.
So what do I do with these unacceptable apples? Well apart from eating them myself and making crumbles etc, I make apple puree. When the kids were little I used to sometimes buy the little tubs of puree for in car or out and about snacks. This has the same texture, but is much cheaper and uses up apples that might not get eaten otherwise. It’s ended up being so popular that when pick-your-own apples aren’t available, I use juicing apples, which are even cheaper – about $2 for a couple of kilos.
I often make plain apple, but also like to add berries; either fresh when punnets are cheap, or frozen when they’re not. I’ve tried strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries in various combinations and they’re all lovely – and such a fabulous colour!. I started making this as a bit of a frugal treat, but’s it’s become a staple snack/dessert, and is lovely either plain, swirled through yoghurt, or even on pancakes or icecream.
Apple berry puree
- apples and/or pears
- 1/4 the weight of the apples in berries
- 1 Tbs sugar if apples are very tart (optional)
Peel and slice apples into a medium saucepan. Add a couple of Tbs of water, and sugar if using. Simmer gently until soft, adding extra water if you think it’s going to stick, then add berries and cook a few more minutes until just cooked. Cool before pureeing in a blender. I blend until quite smooth (just like the little tubs :)) but you could use a stick blender if you prefer a bit more texture.
This will keep for at least a week in the fridge.