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National Bramley Apple Week 2nd 6th February 2015

National Bramley Apple Week 2nd 6th February 2015

The Bramley Apple is one of Britain’s national treasures, and is at the heart of some of the most traditional British food that we know and love. The apple, which is known for its size and bitterness, is only grown in Britain and can be used in a variety of dishes from sweet to savoury.

Origin: The first Bramley apple tree was grown from pips planted in 1809 by Mary Ann Brailsford, in the garden at her home in Nottinghamshire, England.

Best time to plant: The ideal time to plant a Bramley apple tree is any time between winter and early spring. Planting is straight forward - in basic terms, dig a hole large enough to easily take the roots, place the tree in the hole and cover the roots with soil up to the surrounding ground level.

For more in-depth info, check out our guide on how to grow a fruit tree.

Harvest period: Bramley apples usually begin to fall in autumn however then can begin as early as August. The best way to tell if they are ready is to gently grab one in your hand and give it a slight twist, if it comes away easily it is ready, if not it needs a little longer.


Apples need a cool, frost-free environment, where they can last for weeks, even months in winter. A garage or garden shed is perfect. When you are harvesting your apples on an autumn afternoon make sure that you check each apple and give it a quick once over with as cloth and check for bruising – you cannot store bruised apples however you can use them straight away. Once collected wrap the apples up loosely in newspaper and sit them on a seed tray or shelf. Keep an eye on the apples and check for signs of rotting every week or so.

Our favourite recipes

Jamie Oliver’s Ultimate Blackberry and Apple Pie

You can’t really get any more British than a comforting, home-made Apple and Blackberry pie. This recipe has it all, buttery sweet shortcrust pastry, steaming fresh fruit and a little hint of ginger just to bring it all together.


1 old-fashioned sweet shortcrust pastry recipe

50 g butter, plus extra for greasing

100 g golden caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

2 large Bramley apples, cored, peeled and each cut into 16 wedges

4 Cox apples, cored, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges

1 heaped tablespoon chopped stem ginger in syrup

150g blackberries

1 large free-range egg, beaten


Begin by making your pastry dough (we like ours with a little bit of mixed spice added to the mix) wrap it in cling film and rest it in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Then preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

Put the butter and sugar into a saucepan and, when the butter has melted, add the apples, stem ginger and a tablespoon of the ginger syrup. Slowly cook for 15 minutes with a lid on, then add the blackberries, stir and cook for 5 more minutes with the lid off.

Meanwhile, remove your pastry from the fridge. Dust your work surface with flour, cut the pastry in half and, using a floured rolling pin, roll one of the pieces out until it's just under 1cm thick. (Rolling the dough between two layers of greaseproof paper will also stop it sticking to your rolling pin.)

Butter a shallow 26cm pie dish and line with the pastry, trimming off any excess round the edges using a sharp knife.

Tip the cooled apples and blackberries into a sieve over a jug to reserve the juices, then put the fruit into the lined pie dish so you have a mound in the middle. Spoon over half the reserved juices. Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg.

Roll out the second piece of pastry, just as you did the first, and lay it over the top of the pie. Trim the edges as before and crimp them together with your fingers.

Brush the top of the pie with the rest of the beaten egg, sprinkle generously with sugar and the cinnamon, and make a couple of slashes in the top of the pastry.

Place the pie on a baking tray and then put it directly on the bottom of the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. To serve, slice the pie into portions and serve with a generous dollop of custard or vanilla ice cream.

Recipe source:

Pork and Bramley Bake with apple gravy

This one-pot dinner is perfect for families. The fabulous combination of pork, Bramley and sage is a classic that never fails to deliver on taste. Serve it with some extra apple-sauce on the side.


450g/1lb baby new potatoes

2 small red onions, sliced into wedges

4-8 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled

2 tbsp olive oil

450g/1lb (approx 3) Bramley apples, cored and sliced into wedges

4 lean pork steaks

1 tbsp fresh sage leaves or 1 tsp dried sage

For the apple gravy

200ml good quality apple juice

150ml of hot pork or chicken stock

Few sage leaves

Cornflour mixed with a little water to form a paste (to thicken)


Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Fan 180ºC/400ºF/ Gas Mark 6. Place the potatoes, onion, garlic and oil in a large roasting tray or dish. Toss together and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, then stir in the Bramley slices and lay the pork steaks on top. Season and sprinkle over the sage and then return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the pork is golden and the Bramleys and vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile to make the apple gravy, heat the apple juice in a medium sauce pan over a medium heat until boiling, add the stock and let reduce a little. Add the cornflour paste a little at a time until thick enough. Season and stir in the sage. Pour into a jug ready to serve when the bake is piping hot. Serve with green vegetables.

Recipe adapted from:

Bramley Apple Daiquiri from Gail’s Kitchen


50ml fresh Bramley apple juice

25ml fresh lime juice

25ml of cinnamon syrup

35ml white rum


To make the cinnamon syrup, gently heat two parts sugar with one part water and a few cinnamon sticks until combined, cool and strain.

For the cocktail, shake the ingredients with ice and double strain into martini glass with an apple garnish (rub apple with some lemon to prevent discoloration).

Recipe from Gails Kitchen:

Follow Walton's Garden Buildings 's board Bramley Apple Week Recipe Collection on Pinterest.

Image credits:

Image 1, Image 2, Image 3 Creative Commons License National Bramley Apple Week by Waltons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at Waltons.

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