Cider is not only in season, it’s in fashion. Gaymers now has four Orchard Reserve ciders, including Stonesbrook from Dabinett, and Harry Masters Jersey apples, a dry, sparkling cider. There’s Newton’s Vale, medium and made of four English cider apples, and Stewley, again medium and good with roasts and casseroles or Cheddar cheese. Cider is exceptionally good with autumn foods. Why not try the salad of apples and plums with young leaves, Exmoor blue cheese and walnut dressing devised by Michelin-starred Richard Guest, chef at the Castle Hotel, Taunton, Somerset?
2 Edward plums or 3 Victoria plums
1 Pixford, Scrumptious or Cox’s Pippin apple
10 walnuts, blanched and lightly toasted
2tbs walnut oil
Exmoor blue cheese
Handful washed young salad leaves
Sherry vinegar, sea salt, black pepper
Cut plums and apples into thin wedges, sprinkle them with crumbled walnuts, walnut oil, vinegar and seasoning. Toss them and arrange them on plates. Crumble Exmoor cheese over dish and add a few sprigs of watercress.