Food blog

October 2022

Our food blog is featured once a month in the Dundee Courier on a Saturday.

If you see something in our column and would like the recipe, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to share it with you.

October 2022 blog entry

During an Autumn visit to my Dad in The Borders a few years back, we discovered a crab apple and apple tree side by side, alongside a footpath to the next village. These trees boast an abundance of fruit, and so a visit to this spot has become an annual pilgrimage. Returning to the house, laden down with bags and pockets full of apples we excitedly share and discuss recipe ideas over a cup of tea. Always on the lookout for new ideas to preserve the fruit, we are in an unspoken competition with each other.

Crab apples are very high in pectin and the colour you get from them is surprisingly beautiful, even pale green crab apples produce a beautiful rose coloured liquid when cooked. Crab apples make brilliant fruit leather, combined with blackberries, elderberries, or raspberries. To make, wash 1kg of fruit (at least 200g of crab apples). Chop the apples, and put all the fruit in a pan. Add 80ml water to prevent sticking. Bring to the boil, stirring frequently and simmer for 30-60 mins. When the fruit has broken down to a pulp, push it through a sieve, (make sure to scrape the bottom of the sieve). Clean your pan and return the pulp, adding sugar to taste – around 100g, depending on your preference. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and you have a thick consistency. Spread the pulp evenly (around 3mm thick) on flat trays lined with baking paper and leave to dry somewhere warm and airy for a couple of days. Check gently with your finger to make sure it’s completely dry, before slicing both the leather and baking paper into strips about 3cm thick and rolling up. These chewy ribbons of fruity goodness will keep in an airtight container for 3 weeks and make an ideal portable snack.