This is the time of the year when I find it most difficult to get my 5 a day. Clementines and their relatives have surpassed their peak and are watery and tasteless. I don’t particularly like grapes, pears or fresh apples and the only seasonal fruit I really enjoy eating are pomegranates, but most of the time I can’t be bothered to deseed them.
In desperate search of a way to get my vitamines in the midst of flu season without having to resort to vitamin pills, I remembered a dish that accompanied me through my childhood. Apple Puree, or Apfelmus, as it is known in Austria, is a healthy, nutritious and very tasty snack which can even be sold as a light dessert at a dinner party. In Austria, Apple Puree serves as a ‘side’ for a lot of puddings (for example Kaiserschmarrn) and is also commonly eaten on its own (and this not only by toddlers).
The good thing is that you can prepare a huge amount of it as it keeps in the fridge (in a jar or Tupperware) for weeks and you always have a healthy, low-calorie and tasty sweet snack to hand. I say you can keep it for several weeks, although it has never survived in my fridge for more than a couple of days… Maybe you show more restrain.
The recipe can be adapted to your personal taste: add more or less sugar, skip the cinnamon and ginger, add more lemon, mix in other fruits (pear or blueberries would surely work very well). You can use whatever apples you like, but I recommend tart cooking apples for this recipe and it’s faster if you use apples that cook relatively quickly.
APPLE PUREE (APFELMUS)
Amount: enough to keep you going for a few days
Preparation/Cooking Time: 25 minutes
- 6 cooking apples (e.g. Bramley)
- 2-4 heaped tablespoon of sugar
- 2 cm of ginger, finely chopped
- lemon zest of half a lemon
- cinnamon stick and, if you fancy, some ground cinnamon some water
1. Peel and core the apples and cut them into about 8 pieces per apple
2. Put the apples in a large pan and add some water, so that the apples are covered about half
3. Add chopped ginger, cinnamon stick, lemon zest and sugar
4. Bring the water to boil and simmer with the lid closed until the apples are soft (depending on the apples used this may take around 10-20 minutes)
5. Remove cinnamon stick
6. Use hand blender to mash apples into thick purée (use potato masher for chunkier apple purée)
7. Adjust taste by adding more sugar and/or lemon juice and/or cinnamon to taste
8. Chill in the fridge
9. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and a mint leave. Alternatively serve on its own, with whipped cream, with pancakes or with ice cream.