Edmond’s Cookbook Apple Sauce

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Pork and porridge.  It’s not too often you get these two together, but they are both delicious with a little applesauce, no?

Admittedly, my first thought on arriving at Apple Sauce in the Edmonds Cookbook (apart from no, not more apples) was ho-hum.  Apple sauce eh?  What can you do with that? It looks a bit like snot, therefore not particularly photogenic.  There’s not a lot of excitement in making it either.

 

This was all a little unfair and some internet browsing has piqued my interest.  Preparing apple-based sauces goes back to medieval Europe and many cuisines have their own version.  Check out this recipe for Norwegian apple sauce with rye cinnamon crumbs and yoghurt.  Oh my, wouldn’t that be a lovely sight to greet you for breakfast!  Or, this recipe for Danish applesauce (‘æblegrød’) with cream!

So you can imagine I embarked on my Applesauce with a little more excitement after this.  It’s very easy  and a very good way to use up any apples that are past their best and loitering in the fruit bowl.  I’ve been enjoying it with my morning oats, greek yoghurt and a little dusting of cinnamon, which is a very nice way to start the day indeed.

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Ingredients:

  • 3-4 apples, peeled and cored
  • 1 T water
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 cloves or some lemon juice
  • Sugar

Put all ingredients in a pan and simmer over a low heat, until the apples are ‘pulped.’   I have not come across this expression before, so I took it to mean ‘mushy’!

At this point, Edmonds instructs beating it with a fork until smooth.  Being a softer City-girl, I used a stick blender rather than a fork and elbow grease, which gave a nice smooth finish.

This keeps well in the fridge for several days, covered with a little cling film.

 

 

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Russian fudge

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If you fancy a sugar hangover, look no further.  This fudge is mouth-suckingly sweet and all the better for it.  A firm Kiwi favourite, it is dense and rich, comprised largely of sugar, sweetened condensed milk and golden syrup.

I can’t get to the bottom of its name.  In my travels through the internet, I was delighted to find Nigella acknowledges we call Russian Fudge in our little country, although she calls her version Vanilla Fudge.

This lovely Polish-authored food blog includes a recipe for Polish krówki, which translates as ‘little cows’ (how I love that!).  Krówki is a sweet fudge very similar to our Russian fudge, and apparently Russia have a version too.  New Zealand has a strong Polish connection, most famously through our post-World War II Polish refugee children.  Could this explain it?

I won’t keep you all waiting while I trawl through the history of New Zealand confectionary in hope of an answer.  Here is my preferred recipe for Russian fudge.  The best tip I can give you is beat the fudge for as long as it takes in the final stage – it really is important for making it set.

Ingredients:

  • 200g butter
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbspns golden syrup
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 tspn vanilla essence

Method:

Place everything except for the vanilla essence into a pot and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.  Once it is boiling, keep stirring and let it boil for about 20 minutes, until a blob of fudge dropped in cold water can be formed into a squishy little ball.

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Take off the heat, add the vanilla essence, and beat the fudge until it starts to thicken (I’m always into doing things by hand but I can really recommend an electric beater for this bit if you have one!)

Spread into a baking tin and leave to set for at least two hours.

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