Even king Ramses I. knew about the importance of apples and had a basket of fruits brought daily. Despite strong competition – e.g. kiwis and avocados – the apple is still the most frequently bought fruit in the German supermarkets around the year. Frequently you read that its ingredients may reduce diabetes and lipid metabolism disorders, prevent Alzheimer and Parkinson disease and strengthen the heart health.
There are yellow, green, red types; earth-apples (= potatoes), eyeballs, adams apples, horse apples, etc. … just a little wordplay. From Braeburn (my favorite apple), Jonagold, Boskop to Elstar, Gloster, Idared, Granny Smith to Delicious, Gala or Pink Lady. However, out of the 20,000 existing apple varieties, however, only 30-40 play a role in Central Europe.
Apples are among the oldest cultivated fruits. Wild apples were already known since 6500 BC in today’s Anatolia and also on Lake Constance, this fruit was grown over 1000 years ago. Other important apple regions are the “Old Country” on the Lower Elbe and South Tyrol.
One apple a day keeps healthy or “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” According to scientific research, it should be two, better three. The focus is on the substance “quercetin“, one of the phenolic acids / flavonoids. They also provide many vitamins and are full of healthy bacteria which strengthen the immune system and intestinal flora.
But more importantly: they have hardly any calories, can be stored for a long time and processed in a variety of ways. Jellies, chips, liqueurs, juices, wines, vinegars, together with meat, fish, game, salads, puree, chuttneys and, of course, cakes. The list could be continued endlessly. Especially I like to eat them snipped in small pieces in pancakes and smashed as apple-mango-mousse. And of course a sparkling refreshing apple cider is a perfect summer drink, while a warming apple punch tastes delicious in winter.
Autumn is approaching and with it the new apple harvest. Surely everyone has his/ her own apple recipes, but here are three suggestions for a tarte, a smoothie and a salad.
Even APPLE TARTE may strengthen the immune system; you do not believe that? Apart from vitamin D, apples contain all known other vitamins. Since vitamin D can also be absorbed via butter, this results in a perfect gourmet blend – especially for palate and soul.
Recipe: Knead 175 grams butter, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1 egg yolk, some sour cream and baking powder and 200 grams of flour and place in the dough into the fridge for about 30 minutes. Then quarter four to five apples, peel and slice them. Put the dough in a flat baking pan and pull it up a bit on the edges. Then arrange the apple slices like a fan from the inside to the outside. Then bake it at 175 degrees – depending on the oven – 35 to 45 minutes. Should the apples turn brown prematurely, just cover them with some baking paper. If you like, you can brush the apples with some apricot jam after baking. I also love the alternative with wine-gelee.
By the way: I love the Austrian apple strudel, but producing a dough so thin to look almost through it, I was never successful to do so. Therefore I prefer to eat it when done by a local expert. Then preferably warm with vanilla sauce. Being on holiday on the Brittany coast, I often reward myself with apple galette (a type of savory crepe respectively a buckwheat pancake).
For the SMOOTHIE – per portion – wash two apples and cut them into small pieces, then place them together with a banana and a small shot of orange juice into the blender. After approx. 5 seconds, stop the mixer and add the rest of the 200 ml orange juice, 50 ml water and possibly 3-4 ice cubes. Garnish the drink with mint leaves or some muscat, if you like. Alternatively, you may replace the orange juice by grapes and add some ginger .If you like to add some milk, the mix may also serve as perfect shake.
Of course, the APPLE SALAD only becomes a tasty hit when it is combined with other ingredients, like spinach leaves and sheep’s cheese.
photo right hand side: Ralf Cornesse
Wash 300 grams of leaf spinach and an apple and cut everything in small strips or cubes. For the dressing mix three tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of lemon juice, flavor it with salt and pepper. Chop a handful of walnuts, crumble 100 grams of feta cheese and spread the ingredients on the spinach-apple-combination. Pour the dressing over it, allow the salad to strain for approx. 5-10 minutes and, if necessary, serve it with some roasted bread.
P.S. Whether you first quarter the apples and then peel them off with a knife or skin them round with an apple peeler, may remain your very own philosophy.