Fruit in the floodplain?

Drawing apple

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Scattered fruit in the floodplains? Of course!

Humans have been changing the landscape for centuries. This sometimes makes it difficult to recognise what the floodplain would look like without human influence. Cultivated fruit trees, for example, do not normally grow where regular flooding happens. But people have selected and cultivated special fruit varieties, making it possible for meadow orchards to thrive in the floodplain. Meadow orchards are also part of this protected landscape. Because they offer a wide range of food and habitats, these places are small hotspots of biodiversity.

Orchard meadows: Animals and plants are at home here

More than 5,000 plant and animal species live here. Birds, such as the little owl and the wryneck, feel at home between the tall fruit trees, as does the rare dormouse. The blooming meadows are teeming with insects. They find safety hiding in the gnarled wood of the old fruit trees and dead wood. Although the cultural landscape is not typical of the floodplain, it has long served as a thriving environment for many plant and animal species.

This is how the meadow orchard tastes - find delicious recipes here!

Stewed apples on a table

Stewed apples

You can also prepare the same recipe with pears, plums or damsons, or combine the scattered fruit.

Apple bread on a table

Apple bread

Always delicious - also for in between.

Cherry pie on a table

Sunken cherry pie

Instead of cherries you can also use pears, peaches, mirabelles or apricots.

Punch is cooked over a fire

Apple and pear punch

Tastes great, especially in the cold season.

Apple compote

Stewed apples (4 servings)

15 minutes preparation time

You need

  • 1 kilogram of apples from the meadow orchard
  • 300 milliliters water
  • 8 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cloves ground
  • 1 pinch vanilla

Here's how

  1. Wash the apples, if you like remove the peel, then quarter the apples and remove the core. Then cut the apples into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan along with the apple pieces, sugar and spices.
  3. Reduce the heat and let the stewed apples simmer in the closed pot for about ten minutes.
  4. Before serving, you can season the stewed aplles again. The compote tastes great with vanilla ice cream.
Apple bread on a table

Apple bread (For one loaf pan)

60 minutes preparation time

You need

  • 120 gram soft butter
  • 100 milliliters maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 120 gram applesauce
  • 240 gram flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon, clove powder and a little nutmeg
  • 60 milliliters almond / milk
  • 2 to 3 large scattered apples
  • 50 grams of ground nuts

Here's how

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C top/bottom heat.
  2. Put the butter in a large bowl, add the maple syrup and beat both with a hand mixer until light and creamy.
  3. Add the applesauce and stir it in.
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices together in another bowl. Now add the dry ingredients alternately with the almond milk to the dough and mix everything.
  5. Wash, core and quarter the cider apples. Then cut the apples into bite-sized pieces. Add the apples to the dough together with the ground nuts and stir everything in well. Grease the baking pan with butter.
  6. Fill the dough and smooth it out. Put the bread on the middle rack in the oven and bake for about 35 to 45 minutes. Use a wooden stick to check if the bread is done. If the dough no longer sticks to the wood, the bread is ready.
  7. Let the bread cool well before serving. It tastes great with butter and jam.
Cherry pie on a table

Sunken cherry pie (For 1 springform pan Ø 26)

70 minutes preparation time

You need

  • 250 gram butter
  • 250 gram sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 400 gram flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 kilogram of cherries from the orchard (ideally sour cherries)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Here's how

  1. Wash the cherries and remove the pits.
  2. Grease the springform pan with butter and dust it with flour.
  3. Cream the softened butter with the sugar using a mixer. Then gradually add the eggs.
  4. Mix the baking powder with the flour and add it in batches to the egg-butter-sugar mixture. Stir everything in well.
  5. Fold in the cherries well and then pour the batter into the springform pan and smooth it out.
  6. Dust the surface of the dough with sugar and cinnamon and then bake the cake for 60 minutes at 190 °C top/bottom heat. Use a wooden stick to check whether the cake is ready. If the dough no longer sticks to the wood, the cake is ready.
Punch is cooked over the fire

Apple and pear punch (About 4 glasses)

20 minutes preparation time

You need

  • 1 liter of fruit juice, naturally cloudy
  • 400 milliliters pear juice, naturally cloudy
  • A little cinnamon (or a stick of cinnamon)
  • 2 to 5 cloves
  • 1 apple from the meadow orchard

Here's how

  1. Mix apple juice and pear juice in a large pot.
  2. Add the spices and heat the punch. Caution: only bring the punch to a boil. Then leave to infuse for a few minutes over medium heat.
  3. Wash the apple and cut into thin slices. Remove the core.
  4. Place one apple slice in each prepared punch glass. Pour the hot punch over it, dust with a little cinnamon.

What animals and plants can be found in a meadow orchard?

Click on the images.

European hare
Peacock butterfly
Meadow Sage
Dandelion in the meadow
Gray Poplar
Ribwort plantain on a meadow


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Drawing apple