The apples were absolutely beautiful. I think I had a Fuji, a Gala, and a Braeburn. They were hard and crisp and so sweet. The kitchen smelled of apple sweetness. I had a recipe from the October issue of British Country Living for something called "apple parkin," which I'd never heard of before.
Don't you love that someone invented the apple peeler? One of the most fun kitchen gadgets ever.
The apple parkin has a sort of crumble crust with butter, brown sugar, eggs, flour, and oatmeal on the bottom, covered with a layer of chopped apple, topped with the crust mixture mixed into a thick batter with a bit of milk. The original recipe was written in metric, but I found a web site that converts metric measurements of specific ingredients into standard measurements. I didn't have self-rising flour so I looked up a substitute ratio for adding baking powder and salt to all-purpose flour and used that.
My margin of error was getting rather large. Let that be a warning to you.
It wasn't to me. I happily topped it with cinnamon sugar and baked it for as long as the recipe said (30 minutes). The center was still completely raw, though the edges were done. Ruh-roh. I put it back in for ten minutes: still raw. Another ten: still raw. Another five: still raw, and now the edges and the bottom layer were rock hard. I took it out, sliced a piece, and worriedly drizzled it with a bit of cream, hoping for the best.
It sort of tasted like a clod of dirt from an apple orchard. Apparently I did not read the line at the top of the metric conversion web site that literally and very obviously says, "These conversions only work with U.S. recipes. If you try to convert a British recipe using these instructions it may flop." And that's when I said, for the seventeenth or eighteenth time in my life, "Self, you should've made the pie!!!"
I picked the apples out and ate them. Three apples is three apples, no matter where.