Apples might be available for purchase all year round as they do store well from season to season, but for the very best flavour, nothing beats freshly harvested locally grown apples.
In South Australia, apples are harvested annually in autumn and early winter, depending on the location and variety. An estimated 2.6 billion apples are grown in Australia each year, with the cooler-climate areas of South Australia such as the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Limestone Coast among the country’s best apple-growing regions.
Originating in Central Asia, apples have been grown for thousands of years. Varieties grown today include many traditional and new breeds; the most popular varieties in Australia include Royal Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Pink Lady, Granny Smith and Sundowner.
The Wild Apple from Lobethal and The Food Forest from Gawler are both certified organic growers who sell at the Adelaide Showground and Gawler Farmers’ Markets. You can also find fresh apples at Ashbourne Valley Orchards, McLaren Vale Orchards and Otherwood Farms stalls at Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market, which runs on Sundays from 9am to 1pm at the Adelaide Showground, Leader Street, Wayville.
Ashbourne Valley Orchards and McLaren Vale Orchards also sell at the Willunga Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 8am to 12.30pm. Gawler Farmers’ Market is open on Saturdays from 8am – noon at the Gawler Visitor Information Centre, 2 Lyndoch Road, Gawler.
Willunga Farmers’ Market marketing and communications coordinator Lyndall Vandeberg has shared her recipe for Apple and Almond Cake, which makes use of new-season apples.
“Here’s one really gorgeous way to enjoy seasonal apples,” she says. “The combination of apples, nuts and honey provide the perfect harmony of flavours and textures to this warming, welcoming cake that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes.”
Apple and Almond Cake
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup caster sugar
¾ cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs, lightly beaten
150g almonds, crushed*
4-6 apples, cored and finely sliced
*Use a mortar and pestle to roughly crush the nuts or, alternatively, wrap in a cloth and pound with a rolling pin.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until pale and fluffy – about 5 minutes.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Use a large metal spoon to fold the flour and eggs alternately into the creamed mixture. Fold crushed almonds into the mixture.
Grease a 20cm cake tin and line with baking paper. Spoon the mixture into the tin. Arrange the apple pieces, laying them out like a fan, on top of the cake. Bake for 45- 50 minutes, or until a skewer poked in the middle comes out clean.
Leave to rest in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out. Drizzle honey over the cake before serving.
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