IMG_2329 trugWhile our main apple tree has cropped well this year, our stepovers around the vegetable garden have had a mixed season.

T

hey are only two years old so they’re still establishing and I have been careful to carry out the summer pruning regime to cut back the new growth and encourage fruit bearing spurs.

IMG_1164 greenflyThis year we had a very dry June and July and I don’t think they had enough water for the embryonic fruits that were starting to form.  We also had a greenfly infestation that devastated a lot of the new leaves.  They were so curled up on some plants that it looked as though they’d been attacked with a blow torch. A few greenfly won’t damage a plant but if it can’t photosynthesise then it will become weak.  I’m annoyed with myself for not spotting the greenfly sooner but that’s what happens when you skip off to Turkey for a week in late May!  I am going to give all the apples a deep mulch of compost this Autumn and water them well next Spring.

Two varieties have produced lovely apples: Saturn and Winter Gem.  They’re both eating apples.  They’re fine to use in muffins but an eating apple will give you a sharper, more distinct flavour.  I also use dark brown sugar which gives a hint of toffee!

You will need
Makes 12
IMG_2292 muffins

  • 2 eggs
  • 120ml milk
  • 70ml sunflower oil
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 120g dark brown sugar
  • 250g apple diced into small cubes
  • 12 muffin cases in a muffin tin

Method
Heat oven to 200C, gas mark 6. Combine the eggs, milk and oil in a jug. Sift the flours and baking powder in a mixing bowl.  Add the sugar and diced apple to the flour mix.  Pour in the egg mixture and fold in gently – do not over mix.

Fill the muffin cases two thirds full and cook for 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.