What to eat this month

Monty’s Cox and bramble puree

Monty’s Cox and bramble puree

My son, Monty, is—at 17 months—very long in the tooth to be made fruit puree, but as he adamantly refuses to entertain any form of raw fruit, throwing it back at me and shuddering like he’s been made to hold a half-dead mackerel, I still make it for him and he kicks his feet with excitement as soon as he sees it coming to the table for pudding. You can serve it with a spoon of natural yoghurt stirred in, or some double cream or creme fraiche. It’s also good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which those beyond toddler years may also appreciate.

What you need

  • Cox apples
  • Blackberries
  • Cinammon (optional)


Amounts can be varied depending on how many spare apples or blackberries you have to hand. I tend to use around eight Coxes to one punnet of blackberries. (If I had forage-able hedgerows around three big handfuls would fit the bill). This makes a big batch (around 10 toddler-sized servings), some of which can be eaten immediately, with the rest frozen in portions and defrosted as needed. Add a stick of cinammon to the stewing apples if desired, it’s a popular flavour with babies and gives comforting warmth to the fruit as the days grow greyer and shorter.

Peel, core and chop the apples into (roughly) 1cm chunks. As each apple is done throw it into a saucepan of cold water as otherwise it will go brown waiting for the rest to follow suit.

Place the saucepanful of apples and water on the stove, adding the cinammon as required, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let them simmer for three to four minutes. Meanwhile rinse the blackberries and place them in a steamer basket. Put the basket over the pan of simmering apples (with the steamer lid on) for two minutes, or until they are softened but not mushy. By this time the apples will also be the desired consistency. Drain the apples and add the steamed blackberries to them, removing any cinammon sticks at the same time. Puree with a hand blender to the desired consistency. Young babies need it very liquid-y, in which case retain some of the apple cooking water and add a few glugs. If perfectly ripe the fruit should be sweet enough not to require any added sugar, but if you think it’s a bit tart add a spoon or so (not for young babies though).