As it’s the first day of Bramley week, here are a few facts and tips you may not know about this fruit.

Apples are completely fat free and so are incapable of adding to your waistline. They are also free from sodium, so eating an apple a day contributes to a healthy blood pressure. Whole unpeeled apples (yes, ditch the peeler) contain lots of dietary fibre which is useful for a healthy digestive tracts. They also contain antioxidants thought to guard against heart disease, neurological diseases and even some forms of cancer.

The best way to prep your Bramley apple is to stew it. Just peel the skin off (for a smoother sauce), then core and cube the apple before placing in a saucepan with a little water. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat until the apple has completely broken down. I tend to put mine through a blender for a smooth finish as I prefer to keep the skin on for extra flavour and goodness. You can add spices too, such as cloves, cinnamon or nutmeg. Not only will you end up with a delicious sauce, but the house will also smell wonderful for hours afterwards! You can use this sauce for sweet things (in a cake for example) or alongside meats such as pork or game, on top of your cereal or mixed in with a yoghurt. Why not try spreading the puree on pancakes and sprinkling with chopped nuts, raisins or coconut for an indulgent treat?

Using a similar method you can stew larger chunks of apple and pear for about 15 minutes, then combine with berries or raisins for a utterly delicious crumble. To sweeten, try using honey or maple syrup rather than sugar. Bramley apples also make for a perfect apple pie – we recommend serving with vanilla ice cream for a comfort food that is hard to beat.

Parsnip and Apple SoupSONY DSC

You will need:
1 large white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
Pinch of nutmeg
3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
3 bramley apples, peeled and chopped
1.5l vegetable stock
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon of honey

Fry the onion in a glug of oil with a large pinch of salt until just starting to turn golden brown
Add the garlic with the nutmeg and fry for 1 minute
Pop the parsnips and apples into the pan and coat in the onion mixture
Pour in the stock and simmer until the parsnips and apples are tender
Pour into a blender with the honey and lemon and blend until smooth
You can add a lashing of double cream for a touch of luxury
We decorated our soup with a red currant preserve