It’s apple season! Apples are a quintessentially English fruit, and the beginning of autumn sees us almost literally rolling in them. The old adage about keeping doctors away by eating a daily apple isn’t actually far from the truth, and as healthcare goes, there are much less delicious ways to keep the change-of-season bugs at bay. With an upsurge in allergies evident right now, it’s good to know that apples are one of the foods richest in quercetin, a flavonoid with immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory and allergy fighting action.

Getting regular quercetin into your diet doesn’t just help ward off allergies and seasonal bugs, it also protects against heart disease, artery hardening, high cholesterol, gout, diabetes , cataracts , peptic ulcers and asthma. Apple crumble is a British pud of worldwide reputation, but just for a change, smother those gorgeous apples in a lovely light batter to bake an alternative dessert with an apple clafoutis. Just as scrumptious, it’ll go down a treat throughout the harvest season. Remember not to peel, as many important nutrients are just under the skin.

Apple Clafoutis

3 tablespoons butter
3 apples, sliced
3 tablespoons of maple syrup (or local honey)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
70 g of flour (use almond flour for a gluten free version)
90 g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
240 ml whole milk (or a dairy-free substitute)

Heat the oven to 200C. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together, add the flour and salt gradually, 1/3 at a time, then finally whisk in the milk and vanilla. Refrigerate while you cook the apples (a bit like a Yorkshire pudding batter) Place your cooking dish (about 8 x 8) into the oven to heat up. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. When it is sizzling, add the sliced apples, syrup and cinnamon, stirring around to coat the apples. Get the batter from the fridge, and as quickly as you can, remove the dish from the oven, add the apple mixture, pour over the batter, then back in the oven. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the clafoutis is golden – the edges might cook more quickly, but check it is set in the middle. Serve with creme fraiche if you’re feeling virtuous, cream or custard if you’re not!

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