Jazzing up the humble apple

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Having grown up with a father who ran a business as a fruit vendor for the better part of his hard-working life, I became familiar with the concept of the ‘superfruit’ years ago. I remember when Dad brought home a Chinese pear called a nashi and Mum cooking up all manner of fabulous new dishes with it.

Superfruits are rightly celebrated, not only for their unique flavour, but for their healthy content of antioxidants and nutrients.

Hello, then, to Australia’s very own special apple variety, the Jazz Apple, which harvests best from April onwards. The Jazz is just the right combination of tangy and sweet and is great as a snack by itself, paired with a soft cheese, or used to add zing to traditional hot dishes.

The apple is being grown exclusively in Manjimup (WA), Batlow (NSW), Huon Valley (TAS), Adelaide Hills (SA), Stanthorpe (QLD), as well as in Northern Tasmania and Southern Victoria, where the trees enjoy summer sun, high rainfall, cool winters and rich soil.

Jazz Apple season was launched last week at the opulent surrounds of Bistro Guillaume in Perth. The restaurant – with its vivid green décor – suited the launch of the fruit perfectly, with the chefs whipping up some amazing dishes incorporating the snazzy apple, while bar tenders served up Apple Spritzers and delicious Appletinis.

Guests enjoyed morsels of raw salmon with shards of Jazz apple, pork belly with apple ’slaw, chicken liver parfait with apple sauce, and the yummiest of mini crème brulees with just a hint of apple flavour.

The Jazz Apple variety is one of the most recent on the market and is now available from select retailers. Packed with fibre, low GI, vitamins B and C and potassium, this humble fruit is a daily saviour. Ask for it at leading supermarkets and independent fruit shops.

Recipe: Pulled Pork with Jazz Apple & Kimchi Slider Burger
(Certain to jazz up any BBQ)
Makes: 15 small burgers
Prep time: 10-15mins
Cooking time: 3-3.5hrs

Ingredients
2tbsp olive oil
2kg pork shoulder, deboned
Salt
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed (still in skin)
750ml vegetable stock
2tsp chilli sauce/paste
1 lemon, thickly sliced
3 apples, grated
50g Kimchi, thinly sliced*
Whole egg mayonnaise
15 small bread rolls

Method

Preheat the oven to 150°C.

Place an ovenproof dish over a medium heat on the stove. Add the oil. Sprinkle some salt all over the pork shoulder. Add the pork shoulder to the dish and brown it all over, approx 5 mins. Remove from the dish.

Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic to the dish and sauté until softened and fragrant. Add the chilli sauce/paste and quickly fry for 5-10 seconds.

Add the lemon slices and return the pork shoulder to the dish on top of the lemon slices. Pour the vegetable stock over and cover the dish with a lid. Place in the oven and cook for 3-3.5 hrs or until the pork falls apart.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 mins. Shred the pork and set aside.

Brush the tops of the bread rolls with melted butter. Place in the oven until heated through. Approx 5-6 mins.

To make the apple and kim chi, place the apple and kim chi in a bowl and stir to completely combine.

To serve, cut the rolls in half, spread with mayonnaise and then top with the shredded pork and the apple and kim chi mixture. Place the top of the roll back on.

Note: Kimchi is is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables using a variety of seasonings including chilli. Appropriate for this recipe is the cabbage variety.