The apple tree walk in Cloughjordan Ecovillage features many, many trees from Ireland’s national heritage apple collection, all sourced from Irish Seed Savers. A stroll through the apple tree walk in the autumn opens you up to an amazing abundance of shapes, colours and flavours – all managed organically.
Féile na nÚll/The Community Apple Festival is a relaxed and joyous celebration that includes talks, shows, food and food and craft demonstrations. People bring apples for juicing (and sharing the juice), and it all culminates in the AppleBake contest organised by Tara and Caoimhin, Official Apple Aficionados.
To keep the apple celebration going all year round, we asked Féile na nÚll organisers and local food producers to share their favourite apple recipe and the cookery book it’s from.
Veronica Ryan, Education Officer, Cloughjordan Ecovillage recommends Irish Apple Cake from Darina Allen’s Forgotten Skills of Cooking. Veronica says she loves Forgotten Skills because of the way it ‘weaves history into its descriptions.’ For example, Darina writes, ‘Irish Apple Cake varies from house to house and the technique has been passed from mother to daughter in farmhouses all over the country for generations.’
Johanna Taferner of The Night Orchard and Middle Country Café tells us her best apple tart is made with a light, flavoursome cottage-cheese pastry from a German-language cookery book. Her favourite English-language baking book is What's Cooking: Baking by Emma Patmore, which has been a solid cookery book and an inspirational springboard for Johanna's own recipes. (Many people who have baked for us swear by Emma Patmore's book. Sadly, we can't link to it -- it's been out of print for a few years. If you see a copy, snap it up.)
Celebrating Irish apples every autumn is one of the highlights of living in Cloughjordan. If you’re not able to visit Cloughjordan Ecovillage, you can still get the flavour of this extensive collection of Irish heritage apples in The Apple Walk by Nicantsaoi.