Apples are a versatile fruit.
The quest to grow an eating apple with organoleptic qualities has consumed the time of apple connoisseurs for several centuries, but the need to produce a versatile apple is now more pressing than ever.
Traditionally cooking apples have been acidic and tart. Numerous dishes that call for apples in a recipe need an apple that won’t lose its shape in cooking, and retain its sweetness and crunch.
French and Swiss growers are closer than anyone to solving this problem. Unfortunately they do not export their fabulous apples.
In southern Switzerland their apples are made into pies and eaten with freshly roasted chestnuts and chunks of mature Gruyère.
In western Switzerland and across the Jura mountains in France they are made into beignets, delicious donuts that are irresistible.
Beignets de Pommes
1.5 litre vegetable oil 4 large crunch, sweet apples, peeled, cored, cut into rings 250 g flour 200 g icing sugar 2 eggs, separated 50 g butter (optional) 30 ml milk 100 ml Belgian beer 50 ml brandy 10 g yeast Salt Fruit jelly
Dissolve yeast in warm milk.
Sift flour into a bowl, make a well, add the egg yolks, then the yeast mixture and beer. Whisk into the flour to make a batter. Add salt.
Cover the bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Prepare the apples, douse with brandy, dust with sugar.
Heat the oil in a deep saucepan or deep frier, around 170°C.
Beat sugar into the egg whites until stiff, gently fold into the batter.
Dip apple rings in the batter, removing them with a skewer into the oil.
Test and adjust the heat.
The donuts will rise when they are nearly cooked, about eight minutes. Turn to ensure an even colour. They should be golden brown.
Drain on paper towels. Dust with sugar.
Serve with fruit jelly.
Apples grown in Europe
(origin in capitals)Akero SWEDEN sweet Alexander UKRAINE acidic Ananas Reinette NETHERLANDS sweet Braeburn NEW ZEALAND sweet Bramley ENGLAND/IRELAND tart-acidic Fuji JAPAN sweet Gala NEW ZEALAND sweet Glockenapfel SWITZERLAND sweet-acidic Golden Delicious AMERICA sweet-acidic Gravenstein DENMARK tart-acidic Maigold du Valais SWITZERLAND sweet Red Delicious AMERICA sweet Renetta FRANCE acidic to sweet-acidic
Traditional Apple Dishes
Apfelrösti SWITZERLAND pan-fried apples Apfelsalat LIECHENSTEIN apple salad Apfelstrudel AUSTRIA apple pastry Baked Apples EUROPE Cholera SWITZERLAND pie with apples, cabbage, onions, pears, potatoes Chräpfli SWITZERLAND apple pastry Gaufres avec Pomme et de Poire Sirop BELGIUM waffles with apple and pear sauce Jablkova Zemlovka CZECH REPUBLIC apple and bread pudding Kartoffeln mit Äpfeln und Bratwürst GERMANY potatoes with apple and sausage Kartoffelpuffer/Reiberdatschi mit Apfelmus GERMANY potato pancakes with apple sauce Mischleta SWITZERLAND apple, cheese, corn and potato gratin Oie Rôtie aux Fruits FRANCE roast goose with apple, pear, dried apricot, prune Roast Pork and Apple Sauce with Crackling ENGLAND DENMARK Sellerie Apfel Salad GERMANY SWITZERLAND apple and celery salad Sellerie Apfel Suppe GERMANY SWITZERLAND apple, celery and walnut soup Stamppot Hete Bliksem NETHERLANDS apple/pear and potato with crispy bacon/chicken liver/minced meat Torta di Mele ITALY apple/pear sponge Tufahije BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA stuffed apples
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