Today's post is brought to you by Rachel Coopey, designer of the lovely cabled mittens from our latest issue. This entry is cross-posted from Rachel's blog, which you can find here. Rachel was one of the lovely designers we interviewed for our fifth anniversary designer spotlight series, so you can also learn more about her in that post. I was excited to see this post because I (Carly) am currently knitting myself a pair of Apple Catchers, *and* there is a recipe in the post that sounds extremely delicious. Dig in!
I've got apple trees in my garden. They are a blessing and a curse. At this time of year I have more apples (and pears, and plums) than I can cope with, as soon as you clear the fallen fruit, a new carpet has formed.
photo credit Rachel Atkinson
I designed a pair of mittens for the Autumn Twist Collective; Apple Catchers. I love working with Twist, they always, always do such an amazing job of styling and photographing the pieces in the collection and these photographs are the most beautiful anyone has ever taken of my work.
There are 2 versions, a shorter version and a more dramatic elbow length pair, the cable appears on the front and the back of the mitten. The samples are knitted in Shalimar Breathless - a yarn I have been very enthusiastic about in the past and I still love it deeply, it's a dream to knit with and the colours and beautiful (You can now get it in the UK at Loop).
I called the pattern Apple Catchers. It's a reference to my favourite thing about Autumn; the abundance of fruit (I also like the colder weather which necessitates the wearing of copious amounts of knitwear). One of the great things about apples is the baking they prompt; the pies, cakes and puddings that come out of the oven after a Sunday roast. I asked Rachel Atkinson if she would whip me up an apple recipe and she very kindly obliged.
Photo Credit Rachel Atkinson
Celebrate apple season with this delicious pudding; tangy sharp cooking apples stew in their juices underneath the fluffy Apple Catcher sponge topping making it perfect for lazy autumnal weekends curled up on the sofa with your knitting.
Apple Catcher Pudding
600g cooking apples - British Bramleys are perfect at this time of year
75g light soft brown sugar (demerara works fine too)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon and juice of half a lemon
100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
100g caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
100g self-raising flour
Set your oven to 180°C and place a shelf in the lower third of the oven. Peel, core and chop the apples into chunks then place in a lightly buttered 2 litre ovenproof dish. To the apples add the brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon zest and juice, mixing to coat, and set to one side.
In a separate bowl beat the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to combine followed by the vanilla extract. Sift in the self-raising flour and gently mix together to a soft consistency. Spread the cake batter over the top of the apples covering them completely.
Pop in the oven for about 40 minutes, checking after 30 minutes to see how it’s getting on.
Insert a cake tester into the centre to check the apples are cooked; they should retain a little bit of bite but not be too crunchy, and the sponge topping will have bloomed upwards. Sadly it’s likely to collapse on cooling, so quickly sprinkle with caster sugar and eat it whilst still warm dowsed liberally with custard or cream. For a truly disgraceful indulgent treat add a dollop of clotted cream!
(Apple Catchers are also giant pants, I really have to give credit to Jim for the name of this pattern, on whom I can always rely on to lower the tone - like the time I asked for name suggestions for my sock peacock...)