For the recipe and plenty of ideas for using apple peel, scroll down.
Somehow I don’t think nature understands the phrase “Too Much Of A Good Thing”.
This autumn I have experienced a sufferance of apples. Total sufferance. I love the things but honestly, we had so many that there were moments when the whole family experienced serious apple apathy and I had secret yearnings to leave the fallen fruit to (whisper it) r-o-t. GASP.
Back in the blissful ignorance of August I was envisaging something more like a euphoria of apples, or maybe an adoration if we want to do the alliterative thing, but when it came to it I almost fell beneath the waves of peel and pip.
I am a tolerant sort of person and combined with my hatred of food waste I have endeavoured over the years to save every scrap of food that comes my way (be warned, I’m about to go the whole hog with the alliterative collective nouns). I’ve battled beatitudes of beetroot, operas of onions, bulges of beans, placations of potatoes … need I go on? And I haven’t failed yet.
But these apples … they nearly got the better of me.
To make matters worse, I just HAD to go and try and use all the peel as well didn’t I? Well it IS the healthiest bit of the fruit, after all.
And that’s where this cake comes in …
If you are preparing masses of apples for chutneys, jellies or crumbles, don’t throw away the extra peelings but save them for this cake! Adding the puréed results in an amazingly appley cake (duh). The tangier the skin the better as it gives an almost citrus-like flavour, but try to avoid any really bitter or acrid peel. Bramleys or Granny Smiths are great options. And if you have more peel than you know what to do with, try freezing it ready to purée and add to cakes as and when you need it.
This recipe actually uses so much peel that you will be left with a number of (surplus) apples. Simply slice and freeze these for another occasion, or cook them straightaway in a different recipe.
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
125g soft dark brown sugar
50g honey/golden syrup
150-200g apple peel (from about 1.4-2kg of apples)
3 med-large eggs
150g self-raising flour
125g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsps spices (cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg)
Pinch of salt
350g diced apple flesh
Line and grease an 8×8 inch (20×20 cm), deep square baking tin.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugars. Stir in the honey/golden syrup.
Place all the peels in a blender with the eggs and then blend until as smooth as possible. You will get a pale green frothy mixture. Add this to the butter/sugar and stir well to combine. (If you haven’t got a blender then a food processor or hand blender should be fine.)
Stir in the flour, baking powder, spices and salt.
Stir in the diced apple flesh and the sultanas until completely combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake on 150 C degrees fan (170 C degrees conventional oven) for about 60 minutes, or until just cooked and a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin.
Here are a few other thoughts for using apple peel:
- Add a small amount, blended with warm water, to a wholemeal bread dough. You could even knead in some chopped apple and sultanas to make a perfect loaf to go with cheese.
- Place a few tablespoons of puréed peel in a pan with apples as you stew them. Don’t go overboard or you’ll get a grainy texture, but a few aren’t noticeable and will up the fibre content of the stewed fruit.
- Grate a whole apple – peel and all – into a basic flapjack mix, stir to combine and bake as the recipe suggests. This is one of my favourite apple recipes. And that’s the UK flapjack, folks! Ie. oats, syrup + butter.
- You can dehydrate apple slices with the peel on for a delicious snack. Either in a dehydrating machine or on a low temp. in the oven for a few hours.
- Purée the peel with some honey, oats and essential oils (try tea tree or orange) for a natural face mask. It may not suit all skin types but there’s nothing nasty in this mix so your skin should thank you for it. Leave on for 10 minutes then wash off.
- Add the peel to a smoothie. Try blueberry, apple (including peel) and banana.
- You can add the peel to other cakes too. Grate a little into a rich fruit cake such as Christmas cake, or add to carrot cake.