Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

Baked Apples with Rowan and Chestnuts

Foraged and baked apples with wild rowan jelly

Somehow reminiscent of a toffee apple, though a baked, inside-out version, lightly infused with the flavour of rowan berries and the natural sweetness of chestnuts. You can use any type of local or wild apple, depending on whether you prefer sweet or sour.

These baked apples have a melt-in-the-mouth texture and the sour flavour is perfectly matched by the sweet centre.

Baked Apples with Rowan and Sweet Chestnuts

This is a divinely simple recipe. It's the perfect, warm dessert as the autumn temperatures drop and there are plenty of apples on the trees and in the shops. You'll first need to make Rowan Jelly or Rowan Marmalade though. The jelly will create a clear more syrupy filling, while the marmalade gives more texture and thickness.

Serves 4

140 g sweet chestnuts
100 g rowan jelly or rowan marmalade
4 medium to large apples

Preheat the oven at 180°C. Prepare the chestnuts by plunging them into a medium pan of simmering water for 15 minutes. Remove the chestnuts from the pan, slice open and remove the flesh, discarding the shells and as much of the skins as possible. Finely chop or mash the chestnut flesh and mix with the rowan marmalade or jelly.

Wild sweet chestnuts on a foraging course

Core the apples using an apple corer or by carefully slicing out the centres with a small, sharp knife. Place the apples onto a baking tray and spoon the mixture into the core of each apple, pressing down to ensure you’ve filled in completely, the mixture will over spill from the top a little. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, remove and serve hot, alone or with crème fraiche.

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