Granny Smith apples history, recipes apple sorbet, apple crisps, sesame snaps
Granny Smith apples were “born” in Australia in 1968 when Maria Ann Smith discovered this new kind of apple, purely by chance, growing on her compost heap. The seedling (malus domestica x malus sylvestris) was growing happily in the humid almost subtropical climate of Sydney. In all probability there were some French crab apples stuck in wooden crates that she had bought at the Sydney markets. (Or a wild one from New Zealand)? Another rumour about her ‘find’ lurks in the background and has her finding the seedling growing on a nearby rubbish dump. It lacks credibility because in the 1860’s there was little need to have rubbish dumps right next to your home and she was a keen gardener who would have had a compost heap. Human beings are all too eager to find evil in another, aren’t they? That said, they have always been my favourite apple and I love to eat them freezingly cold with a thick slice of good cheddar cheese!
Now that I think about it, she must have been an excellent marketer because their popularity spread like wild fire.
I have included these recipes specially for two friends of mine who have done much for me lately. They supplied much needed humour, good conversation and wine. On top of it all cart me around. Marika and Susan – have a super holiday, lots of laughs and good wine.
GREEN APPLE SORBET
500 g Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and quartered
3 ½ lemons*
250 g superfine castor sugar
1 tablespoon Calvados (or a cognac)
* Juice of 3 lemons and ½ lemon plus peel of ½ lemon
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
Superfine castor sugar
Make the sorbet
- Toss the apple quarters in the lemon juice (of 3 lemons) to prevent browning (make sure that you cover the apples completely by putting them in a Ziploc bag with the juice, extracting all the air and creating an airtight bag);
- Freeze this overnight;
- Combine the sugar, 250 water and dissolve in a heavy-based pot, bringing it to boil;
- Remove the syrup from heat, refrigerate until ice cold;
- Put the frozen apples, sugar syrup, calvados and the juice from the half lemon into a food processor and blend until it is a smooth puree;
- Check and correct the taste (if it is too sweet, add more lemon juice and vice versa);
- Churn in an ice cream machine and freeze or put into the freezer in a flat metal tray and whisk every two hours until it is smooth and frozen. I use the latter method and it works well;
Make the crisps
- Pre-heat the oven to about 70 C
- Line and grease flat baking tray with baking paper
- Use mandolin or vegetable slicer to slice the apple into very thin, attractive slices
Brush apple on both sides with the lemon juice and lay flat on the tray, ensuring that none of them overlap
Dust on both sides with the sugar
Dry in oven until the slices are very crisp
Cool and keep for a day or two
80 g superfine castor sugar
zest of one orange
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
40 g plain flour
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
40 g sesame seeds
40 g unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon finely chopped glacé ginger
Mix sugar, orange zest and orange juice together in a bowl
until the sugar has dissolved.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and the ground ginger after which you add the sesame seeds.
Make a well in the centre and stir in the melted butter and then the orange juice mixture, combine well.
Lastly add in the glacé ginger.
Refrigerate for one hour before using.
Make the wafers
Preheat oven to 170 C
- Draw 3 circles on a sheet of baking paper, repeat on another baking tray.
- Now you have six.
- Using a knife, mark out triangles to assist with the wafers afterwards
- Using a spatula, smear a thin layer of the wafer mixture on each circle and bake for 7 – 10 minutes until each one is golden in colour.
- Allow sheets of baking paper to cool on a wire rack.
- Now continue like this until the mixture has been used up completely
Serve scoops of ice cream with apple crisps and sesame wafers. Have in the sun with far too much calvados.