The Tuesday tree: Breton apples
Hello again! We are just back from Finistère in Brittany, where we had a lovely family holiday of sandcastle-building, crêpe-eating and menhir-hugging. I’d love to share a little of this with you soon. Today, however, it’s tree day.
Our base for the holiday was a little farm cottage, converted from the cart horse’s stable. The cart horse was no longer resident – just as well, as it might have found the stairs a problem – but the land is still run as a small-holding. Our boys had a lovely time collecting eggs in the mornings and investigating the hidden corners of the farm, all under the patient eye of our patron. One day they returned with a handful of ripe blackberries. Ripe blackberries? In mid July? In Scotland, these are a September delicacy. Everything seems out of time this year: the fruit is ahead of itself throughout Britain and apparently in France too, after our hot spring and wet summer. What you need with brambles, of course, is apples, to make the classic blackberry and apple pie. And lo, what should I notice on the farm one day but a little apple tree,
with, to my amazement, ripening apples on it. (I mean, I wasn’t amazed that an apple tree should have apples, but that they were going red already. Erm, right, glad that’s straight.)
On the whole, though, I was glad that they weren’t yet quite ready to eat. Autumnal blackberry and apple pie after a sunny day at the beach would have been just a bit weird. Perhaps the farmer will make some delicious Breton cider from them, after we holidaymakers have left him in peace.
You can read about Normandy apples in Au pays des pommes.