• 150g Crab apples or 6 small dessert apples
  • 2tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 ½l Cider
  • 250ml Damson gin
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 1 Orange, sliced
  • A thumb-sized piece of root ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Star anise
  • 6 Allspice berries
  • 4 Cloves
  • ¼ Nutmeg, freshly grated

To serve

  • 4 Slices of white toast cut into triangles


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C(160C fan). Toss the apples in the brown sugar and transfer to an oven-proof dish; roast for 20 minutes until the apples have partly softened and the skins are starting to split. Set aside to cool.

  • STEP 2

    Stir the cider, damson gin, caster sugar, orange, ginger and spices together in a large pan, then bring to a simmer on a hob or fire. Serve in mugs or handled glasses with toast to dip into the wassail.

Stuart Ovenden is the author of The Orchard Cook, £25, published by Clearview Books.

Main image: ©Stuart Ovenden