Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Isaac Newton Apples

Late last year, some maths masters wrote about Isaac Newton, investigating and dismissing the myth that an apple fell on his head thus demonstrating the phenomenon of gravity to his observant mind. While the article was interesting enough, the mathematicians then claimed that the variety of apple named after the myth, the Isaac Newton, was awful to eat.

A few weeks ago, I was given a few bags of Isaac Newtons; and have discovered that the maths masters should stick to mathematics. While Isaac Newton apples are a coarse fleshed thick skinned rather uninteresting apple to eat raw, by God are they a cooking apple! When cooked, the flesh collapses and develops the deep scent of cloves. They are the finest cooking apple I have tasted, the sort which leave my family hanging around the stove desperately begging for another bowlful.

The first batch, I peeled, cored and lightly stewed; I was left with a softly chunky applesauce, absolutely delicious. The rest I made into velvety purée, following the advice of Patricia Volk's aunt, who recommended cooking apples skin, pips and all then running them through a sieve to achieve a tastier sauce. So one sunny afternoon, while my two year old bathed herself and the dishes in the kitchen sink (I quietly re-washed them later), I chopped the apples roughly and tossed the lot into my big pot. Once cut, the apples browned alarmingly quickly; cooked, however, they developed a deeply inviting rose-gold hue. When they had collapsed, I ran everything through the medium disc of the mouli, and was left with a perfect purée.

Since they do not hold their shape, use Isaac Newtons in preparations which call for smooth applesauce. So far we have used our purée in apple dappy and apple cake, and a very sloppy crumble, and of course we have gobbled up mountains of it by itself with a spoon; it was delicious every way.

It is so good that it makes me wonder whether it was not the falling but the eating of the apple that inspired Newton to such great heights of brilliance?

For instructions on how to preserve apples, click here. To buy your own Isaac Newton tree, try here. The photo shows the first batch, lightly stewed.

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