BE HAPPY WITH APPLE DAPPY
A mealadivine treat made from late apples is the perfect meal.
Every now and then I steal a recipe and call it my own. It wanders into my kitchen and becomes a signature dish, something tasty that I personally would like to be remembered for. With a family story or two folded gently around its origin, ingredients or raw materials, I proceed to embellish and alter the recipe slightly and hey presto, it's mine!
I'm pretty certain that this has been happening since people started cooking and sharing food around camp fires, so I'm going to blatantly blame it all on my ancestors.
That's how I came up with the recipe for apple dappy. However, because I am very grateful for yet another good idea for using the boxes of apples that proliferate in my kitchen at this time of the year, I openly acknowledge that I pilfered the original recipe from Laura Washburn's excellent little book, Cooking With Apples & Pears. I chanced upon it at a friend's house a couple of years ago and promptly offered to make apple dappy for dessert that night. So impressed were we all with its fluffy spirals of dough and apple filling that my friend gave me the book and told me to go away and try out all the recipes.
I think I am supposed to return it at some point with notes in the margins as to the DR (Divinity Rating) of each recipe but somehow that hasn't happened yet, which should indicate to you that you should shoot out and buy Cooking With Apples & Pears straight away and start replicating and/or experimenting.
There are two great things about sharing the apple dappy recipe with you that coincide with this time of year. One, there areusually heaps of apples around that need using up, those wrinkly ones that sit in the bottom of the bowl. Also, if you've managed to keep your apple harvest nice and cool somewhere, your apples will have converted their interiors into sugars which are perfect for stewing up to make apple dappy.
Plus, it's winter and everyone is in need of warm, filling desserts to keep up with the chilly weather. Or, as my son Theo points out, why wait for pudding? Let's have apple dappy for breakfast!
Pinwheels have been popping out of my oven for so long that I can't recall where and when I first became acquainted with them, but there is a distant memory involving a hippy commune in Canada and a tall, dark-haired fellow driving a MGB. Like I said earlier, the story is important, and I like to follow in Never Cry Wolf author Farley Mowat's footsteps when he wrote about never letting the truth stand in the way of a good story.
I admit to employing the winter pesto pinwheels as a sneaky way to get greens into my kids. The older ones never knew that they were eating chickweed, cleavers, dandelions, puha, watercress and parsley, because I had cleverly transformed these so-called 'weeds' into a divinely warm, melt-in-your-mouth cheesy roll.
Our youngest son Theo is 11 (pictured at right) and he's just happy to have someone make him food so he'll munch away happily without asking questions. However, as he is becoming a master of the bread machine, he'll soon have pinwheels under his belt.
I have discovered over the years of being a mum to three strapping lads and working in an after-school care centre that kids love making spiral food. It seems that putting ingredients together by rolling them up into a sausage and then chopping the sausage into spirals really captures their sense of creativity and industry. There's not much that can go wrong really, apart from a bit of goo squishing out here and there but when you're a kid cooking is all about making a mess anyway.
And that's from someone who suffers from an inherited anti-mess gene but strives on towards the seemingly unattainable state of 'letting them do it by themselves without standing over them'.
It's winter and everyone is in need of warm filling