Apples are slowly ripening in the suburbs of Moscow, and the choice of seasonal fruit is already very wide at the markets and farm shops. This is a chance not to be missed! Eat apples fresh and cook delicious and unusual things with them.
The long-awaited apple season has arrived. The standard shop varieties have been joined by beautiful seasonal varieties that have a completely different smell and appearance. Sweet with a ruddy barrel, crisp and juicy – no wonder you want to buy by the kilo at once. Or, for instance, dacha apples: usually, when a garden tree gives a harvest, it is lush and abundant, so that we have to take home buckets of them. And then you have to think about what to cook.
We’ve decided to make it easy, but to think of unusual and interesting recipes. Because everyone has probably made applesauce. And if not, absolutely everyone has baked the fruit in the oven with honey or brown sugar and cinnamon. Let’s not ask, this way of cooking apples requires no hassle, effort and time, and the result is pleasing not only to adults, but also to children. But culinary horizons can and should be widened. So if you have a desire to experiment – do it.
Apple cheese tastes a bit like marmalade
This is not our invention; it is a real Lithuanian dessert. It was invented back in the Middle Ages, since then the recipe has changed but the essence remains the same. It is made with apples and served as a sweet conclusion to a meal or as a dessert for tea. It has a slightly odd appearance, usually caramel or dark brown in color, with a consistency similar to thick jam and a taste like marmalade. It has little in common with cheese, of course – you won’t find any milk or a hint of it in the recipe.
It takes a long time to make apple cheese, but it’s not too hard. You may get tired only of the duration of the process, but if you are hardened by the preparation for the winter, you can easily cope with it. Peeled and cut into slices, the apples are first poured over with sugar and left to stand overnight, so that the juice is released. A small part is then put aside and a larger part is mashed and put on the fire. Cook the apples for at least 2-3 hours, until the mass thickens and darkens. The remaining apples are then returned to the purée and simmered a little longer. The result will be a thick jam, which can easily detach from the sides of the pan. Here it should be transferred to gauze and left under a press for about a day. Then you can slice it and serve it.
This marshmallow has no resemblance to shop pastille: neither in taste nor in appearance.
It is an old Russian marshmallow, which must be in the home cookbook. In the modern version, the marshmallow is white, for which purpose an egg white is added to it. We suggest sticking to a less common, but closer to the traditional variation. You may need 1 kg of apples, 350 g of berries (strawberries, currants, cherries), 70 g of sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. First peel and chop the apples and boil them until they are pureed. Rub the berries through a fine sieve and then whisk in a blender with the apple mixture. Cook it again until you get a marmalade-like purée. Add the lemon juice, leave to cool and spread in a thin layer on a baking tray. Leave to dry at a temperature not exceeding 100°C, cut into ribbons and roll up into rolls. You can put them in a bowl in a beautiful bouquet and put them in the centre of the table. For more information on how to make apple marshmallow, click here.
Apple soup is a great alternative to the usual first course
It may take time to make apple soup with spices. You should be too. The summer fruit makes an excellent first course that is hearty and tasty. For one of the soups – with curry – you will need 800 ml of vegetable or chicken stock, 7 apples, 2 large stalks of leeks, 4 cloves of garlic, the juice and zest of a large lemon, a bunch of mint, curry powder or paste, 200 g of yogurt for serving, olive oil, salt and ground pepper.
When all the ingredients are ready and spread out comfortably on the table, fry in the vegetable oil in a heavy-based pan, first finely chop the onion, then add the apples (in large cubes), minced garlic and spices. After 10 minutes, pour warm broth (chicken soup will be more filling). Next, bring it to the boil, cook for 20 minutes, add half of the lemon zest and juice and whisk with a blender. Serve the soup with yoghurt mixed with mint and the other half of the zest and juice. If you like, you can also fry the bacon until crispy.
For a detailed description of the recipe and the cooking steps, follow this link.
Apple cupcakes in eggshells
Eggshell muffins – an ordinary dessert with an unusual twist
You won’t need many apples for this recipe, just one for six servings, but you can make it more than once or twice. Because ordinary muffins are boring, and you don’t eat them in the shell very often. The culinary know-how will be especially appreciated by children and, we believe, will cope with it with far fewer crumbs scattered on the floor than usual.
So, apart from the apple, you need 2 sprigs of mint, 50g butter, 50g sugar, 1 egg, 85g pancake flour, 2 tablespoons of milk and salt. Peel and finely chop the apple, add the chopped mint, the butter and sugar, the beaten egg and the milk. Stir in the sifted flour to make a soft dough. Place the dough in the clean egg shells. To prevent the eggshells from falling over, pour piles of salt onto the baking tray and use as a support.