Use Your Apples; Yorkshire Apple Recipe & History Lesson

Hello and welcome to the first of our Use Your Apples series; Throughout this series, we will be showcasing some of the best (and most unusual) apple recipes we've come across, in a bid to encourage the nation to use up their apples this autumn.  In addition, we will be posting glimpses of our own attempts at cooking, so please, get involved and send us some of your own fab ideas also.

Today’s blog post is all about apples. Read on for a little history lesson first, followed by an unusual apple cake recipe, found lurking in an old Yorkshire cookery book.

According to ‘The Oxford Companion to Food’, apples have been used in cooking since classical times. Traditionally apples were roasted whole in front of an open fire and added to dishes cooked with fatty meats and fish to add a sharpness to the meat.

The most famous dish associated with apples, is, of course, the famous apple pie. The British version apparently used to be distinctly different from all other forms. It was common for this version to include verjuice for extra sharpness; and even older recipes often would include quinces, which not only added more sharpness to the mix (yikes!) but also gave an attractive pink colour.

Now for the first apple recipe, I’ve found; Ripon Apple Cake.

Whilst sat around at a photography shoot for some of our beautiful Orange trees, lemon trees and lime trees this week, I happened to find myself looking over a heap of old recipe books for ideas. I came across one book on Yorkshire cooking, which included an unusual little recipe that really intrigued me. I scribbled it down for you, so here it is for your enjoyment;


Shortcrust pastry,
baking apples,
sugar or golden syrup,
grated cheese.

Line an ovenproof plate or tin with pastry, retaining enough for a top. Peel and thinly slice the apples and cover the pastry thickly with them. Sweeten to taste with sugar or syrup and sprinkle with grated cheese. Roll out the pastry to make the lid, seal the edges and decorate. Bake in a fairly hot oven, 220 C (425F), until brown. Sprinkle thickly with castor sugar to serve. Apple pie is traditionally served with cheese in Yorkshire and an old saying is:

"An apple pie without some cheese
is like a kiss without a squeeze"

Apparently, the cake was served to commemorate St Wilfred, the patron saint of the Cathedral of Ripon, Yorkshire.