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Borough Belles: Megan Francis

Categories: Reflections and opinions

The Borough Belles, Borough Market’s neighbourhood branch of the Women’s Institute, is packed with keen cooks, happy to share their ideas and insights. This month: Megan Francis

I’ve lived in the area for just over a year now and joined the Borough Belles this spring. I was really interested in joining a group of likeminded women: women who are progressive, interested in change, keen to make a difference in the community—and who love to bake!

I’m involved in the running club and often come to support events and meetups, such as the recent Apple Day event we took part in at the Market. I worked with several other girls in the Cookhouse, baking cakes for our Borough Market stall. People were in and out all morning having fun, it was a great day.

I’m from the USA originally, so my contribution was apple sauce, which is a recipe from my great grandmother that has been passed down through my family. I have to give my aunt Linda credit as well, as she actually taught me how to make it—it was my aunt and my grandmother who really got me into baking. We can beets, make pickles and proper pumpkin pie.

Megan Francis making apple sauce

Megan’s apple sauce
The recipe is super-organic, I don’t use anything but apples! I steam the apples until they start to fall apart, then I use an old fashioned sieve and a pestle to mash it up until only the skins are left—I like to use red apples, so that it dyes the sauce with a lovely pink hue.

At home in the United States we tend to use macintosh apples, which I’m not sure you can get over here, but otherwise you can use whatever apples are in season or whatever you have to hand. It’s actually better, I think, if you don’t use a specific kind—throw in tart apples, sweet apples, depending on your taste. It’s a really versatile recipe.

We tend to have apple sauce as a side dish, or just on its own—I used to come home from school and have apple sauce as an afternoon snack—but you could have it with sandwiches for lunch, for example. At home, we mostly have sauerkraut with our pork, but I know it’s traditional to have apple sauce with pork over here! It’s not something we do in the US, but I have tried it and it is delicious.