Site address
(not postal)

Woodcroft Wildspace
Downes Court


N21 3PT

Saturday 30th October 2017

more photos below - click for larger image

On Saturday 30th September Woodcroft Wildspace held an Apple Day for immediate neighbours to the site and the regular volunteers. The aim was to introduce everyone to the diverse range of varieties, tastes and textures that are available beyond the commonly available 4 or 5 supermarket varieties.

Palmers Green resident Angela Clutton, who is a freelance food writer and food historian and co-chair of the Guild of Food Writers, kindly gave the presentation in glorious September sunshine.

Angela introduced the audience to the basics of cookers and eaters and their relative acidity to sweetness, as well as the apple’s ability to complement meats and cheeses, creating positively salivating tastes.

Amongst the desert apples we have Woolbrook Russet, Golden Rein a firm slightly yellow fleshed apple, the colourful Lady Sudeley and very large green apple more usually associated with a cooker, Dr Harvey.

Another very large and rather silky green apple is the Belle de Bois. The sharp sweetness of this variety makes not only good eating but also good cooking. The audience sampled it with some Wild Boar salami and Isle of Mull Cheddar cheese, fresh from Borough Market; both melting scrumptiously in the mouth!

The star of the cooking apples on show was the aptly named Catshead. A very large, smooth skinned green apple, with an elliptical shape providing a sharp acidic taste, setting it firmly in the cooking apple arena. This apple is the oldest of the varieties at Woodcroft, noted as far back as 1600, so it has been around English kitchens for many generations.

The humble crab apple concluded the presentation, noting its benefit to jam and jelly making with its high concentration of pectin, which is key to setting. The crab apple is also an essential pollinator being of significant help in an orchard to set fruit, particularly when the partner pollinator varieties don’t happen to flower at the right time.

One simple fast food recipe is to take a large apple, core it, then add a mix of brown sugar and sultanas or raisins in the middle in place of the core. Then bake it in the oven for around 20 minutes at 180C until just soft, and serve. For added flavour, turn it into an apple dumpling by encasing it in pastry and cook accordingly.

Our thanks again to Angela for her presentation and insight into the delights of English apples, of which we have a mere 30 of the over 2500+ English varieties. Take a look at Angela’s web site for many more salivating recipes – Nettle Soup and Proper Lemonade catch the eye…….

And of course our thanks to our neighbours and volunteers for coming along to enjoy the fruits of Woodcroft. We hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did.

We look forward to a long and committed future for Woodcroft Wildspace, continuing to deliver a premium educational wildspace for the benefit of and participation with, the whole of the Enfield community.

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