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.

Apple and Gruyère

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
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)

Gala and Glockenapfel for sale in Landi supermarket, Switzerland
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