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6 February 2012

Bramley Apple Week: 5th – 12th February 2012 plus a recipe for Easy Apple Sauce

Photo: © childsdesign

Perhaps it seems unseasonal and a little too early in the year to be thinking about English fruit. It is, however, Bramley Apple Week, a time to celebrate all that is great about this versatile and tasty apple.

Name a typically British fruit and bet you'll say the apple, but there is one, in particular, more deserving of the highest accolade, and that is the Bramley. There is no variety better for cooking, with its sharp taste and melting texture, it is superior in every way. Tolerating just about any cooking process, the Bramley is able to retain its distinct appley flavour that other apples cannot match. The Bramley is a 'cooker' and 'king of apples' in the kitchen.

The Bramley apple is just over 200 years old and sprung in to life when in 1809 a young girl by the name of Mary Ann Brailsford planted some pips in her Nottinghamshire garden.
Later in 1846, a local butcher, Matthew Bramley bought the cottage and garden, but it wasn’t until 1856 that the apple became properly established as a new variety. Henry Merryweather, a local nurseryman, asked if he could take cuttings from the tree and start to sell the apple. This was agreed by Matthew Bramley, who insisted that the apple bear his name – hence ‘Bramley’s Seedling’ as it’s properly known.

Bramley Apple Week
Every year, the Bramley is celebrated with an awareness week, and this year it will be held between 5th–12th February.
Joining in the celebration of this versatile fruit, The Bramley Campaign has enlisted the culinary talents of the BBC’s Great British Menu winner, Mark Hix to develop some delicious recipes.

In the Kitchen
There really is so much you can do with a Bramley. Cut into big chunks it makes a perfect filling for pies and crumbles of course, but it really does have so many uses for both sweet and savoury dishes.

Try them simply baked whole in the oven, just core them, score the skin around the equator of the apple (this prevents them bursting) and then fill the centres with a mixture of sultanas, cinnamon, and lashings of muscovado sugar and butter. Place them in an ovenproof dish and bake at 200C, Gas 6 for about 25 minutes until the apples puff up.
When they’re done the apple flesh will be gloriously fluffy and there will be lots of rich syrupy juices to spoon over.

They are also great made into chutney and go well with meats such as pork and game, they even work well with fish such as mackerel. The sharpness complements well by cutting through the oiliness.

Easy Apple Sauce
Next time you’re having roast pork or even just some humble sausages, try making this easy apple sauce to perk up your meal.
It is so simple to prepare and more delicious than the shop bought stuff.


  • 500g Bramley apples
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 tbsp water

Peel and core the apples, then slice them.
Place into saucepan with the water and sugar and cook gently, stirring occasionally until fluffy.
Leave to cool before serving.

For a dessert version, add raisins and some more sugar if required – this is lovely as a filling for pancakes or yogurt topping.

For more information on Bramley Apple Week visit the website

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