Plum job makes use of our wonderful English apples

Apple and plum crumble
Apple and plum crumble
Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams

Food and drink: Even the worst disaster chefs can learn to cook say Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams

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Recently the team at Fat Olives cooked a lunch at Tuppenny Barn, Southbourne, as part of Emsworth’s British Food Fortnight.

It was all in an attempt to help raise awareness and much-needed funds for its education centre.

Large bulbs of fennel, spicy salad leaves and red peppers grown on the smallholding were used to make a tasty three-course menu for the 50 guests that attended the event.

The orchard gave us different varieties of apple and pears to cook and fill an almond paste tart for the pudding.

It was wonderful to be able to showcase Maggie’s produce and get people to eat it just where it was grown, giving a real field to fork experience.

The trees in the orchard were laden and some fruits were used to make apple juice when Emsworth held its first community apple pressing as part of National Apple Day.

It was the day when people took their apples to St Peter’s Square and helped turn them into juice. Then they were able to take away their own juice complete with label designed by St James’ s Primary School.

English apples are reported to be the best in the world with outstanding taste and flavour mainly due to the fact that we have the best climate for the apples to grow slowly.

There are many varieties of apples grown in the UK. We all have our favourites, but it’s worth trying something different now and again.

Try this recipe for apple and plum crumble for an autumnal pudding using British apples.

Apple and plum crumble

For the crumble:

250g plain flour

150g butter

70g sugar

70g flaked almonds

dessert spoon water

For the filling:

300g apple (Bramley, James Grieve or Ross)

100g plums

60g sugar

tablespoon water


1 In a large bowl rub the flour and butter together to resemble crumbs.

2 Mix in the sugar and almonds.

3 Now add the dessert spoon of water and mix until the mixture goes knobbly.

4 Put in the fridge while you prepare the fruit.

5 Cut the apples into 1cm cubes and cut the plums into eight after removing the stone.

6 Place half the apple and the sugar in a saucepan with the tablespoon of water.

7 Heat gently until soft and breaking down. Now add the other half of the apple and the plums.

8 Stir and take off the heat immediately.

9 Put the fruit mixture into a dish and top with your crumble mix.

10 Bake in a pre-heated oven 180c/gas 4 for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and serve with pouring cream or custard.