Slow Food supports biodiversity and heirloom food, and at Slow Food Auckland we are always on the search for such produce! So in line with this philosophy two years ago we successfully registered one of our local apples to the Ark of Taste, the SF catalogue of heirloom and endangered food, pledging our support to the producers and keepers of the last trees so that they will not disappear.
And our apple is: 

Where to buy Oratia Beauty apples
I have just bought my apples from the Dragicevich Orchard, and since the season is short I invite you all to stop by the orchard’s shed at 556 West Coast Rd, Oratia, just next to the dairy, on your way home or on your way to the West Coast beaches this weekend!  Oratia apples are only $5 for a big 3kg bag, and they are the first apples of the season too! As a bonus there are still plums at the orchard now, including Luisa, one of my favourite varieties.
What to do with Oratia Beauty apples
Oratia Beauty apples are crispy and a little sour, and perfect for apple pies and cakes, so feel free to share your recipes with Slow Food Auckland and we can upload them on our blog if you like!
This is my recipe, it is very simple yet delicious, and if you slice the apples finely they will almost melt into the cake! Scrumptious!

Oratia Beauty Sliced Apple Cake

This is an incredibly simple and quick recipe that makes an amazing apple cake! 


Rind from 1 lemon, plus the lemon juice
5 Oratia Beauty apples
150 g butter
200 g sugar
4 eggs
250 g self raising flour
Icing sugar to dust (optional)

Peel, core and slice the apples into rings, spray with lemon juice.
Melt the butter and mix with the sugar. 
Add the eggs, flour and lemon rind, then fold in the apple slices. 
Line the bottom of a 20cm round baking tin with baking paper and grease the sides with butter. 
Pour the cake mixture into the tin and bake at 180°C for approximately 45 minutes. 
Wait 5 minutes then reverse on a serving plate. 
Dust with icing sugar. 

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©
Thank you for supporting our New Zealand heritage produce and small producers!