Apples are one of the wonderful fruits of autumn. We grow a lot of apples in the Nordic climate, and we eat them fresh, in cakes and in savory dishes such as tarts, salads and mashes. Autumn is also the time of year to make your winter preserves, to put up jars with jam, chutneys and the apple paste that we call æblesmør, which is great as spread on toasted rye or spelt bread.
There are a large variety of apples in Norway, some more famous than others, and each very different in taste and texture. In these recipes I used Cox’s orange pippin, Belle de Boskoop and Elstar. In the U.S., you can experiment with several other varieties: Braeburn, Cortland, Fiji, Gala or Golden Delicious, perhaps.
Cox’s orange pippin is a British variety dating from the mid 19th century. Difficult to grow, it has a crisp texture, a nice bite and fresh sweetness. It is lovely to eat raw and to cook with.
Belle de Boskoop, which originated in the Netherlands, is more of a cooking apple, analogous to the Rome variety in the States. In jellies and sauces, it becomes smushy quite quickly.
Elstar is also originally from the Netherlands; a cross of Inge Marie and Golden Delicious with a crisp texture, really wonderful sweet flavor, very suitable for baking.
We have a lot of artisan producers in Norway who make cider, apple cider vinegar and apple juice, which we call æblemost.
In my mother’s country garden on the island of Funen, we collect apples from her neighbor who has a tree so old nobody knows what variety of fruit it produces. Nowadays, shoppers often want uniformly-sized sweet apples with no spots on them. I think it’s important to taste all kinds of apples, understand which are best for which kind of cooking, and which you prefer: sweet, tangy or acidic.
Because pesticides are often used to grow apples, it makes sense to look for organic varieties, or to find a local organic orchard and spend the day picking the fruit yourself.
Cod With Jerusalem Artichoke and Apple Mash
For the mash:
For the cod:
For the salad:
For the dressing:
For the mash:
- Peel and chop the onion. Peel and core the apples, cut them into cubes. Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and cut them into cubes.
- Melt the butter in a sauté pan, add the chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add the Jerusalem artichokes and thyme sprigs, mix well and sauté a few minutes more.
- Add 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Then cover with a lid and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the apples and let simmer for 10 minutes more.
- Mash with a whisk and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until serving.
For the salad:
- Roast walnuts in a dry frying pan. Cool and chop.
- Chop the kale super fine so it is easy to chew.
- Cut the apples in small cubes; mix with kale in a bowl.
- Mix the apple cider vinegar, Dijon and honey, then gradually add walnut oil, whisking until smooth.
- Add walnuts to salad with dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
For the fish:
- Mix rye flour, salt and pepper.
- Coat the cod fillets in the mixture.
- Melt the butter until golden brown then fry the cod for two minutes on both sides.
Serve the cod with the mash right away.
Apple Rye Tart
For the dough:
For the filling:
- Begin with the dough. Mix flour, sugar and salt together, then crumble the butter in with your hands and then mix in the quark. Knead the dough with your hands. (Alternatively place all the ingredients in a Magic Mixer and blend together.) Divide the dough in two portions and store one in freezer.
- Roll the other portion of dough out, forming it into a very thin circle. When done, trim the edges with a sharp knife.
- Place the dough on parchment paper on a baking tray and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of caster sugar.
- Rinse, core and cut the apples into medium size slices. Place the slices on the dough and glaze with the apple jelly.
- Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve warm with cold whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Cut the apples with skin and cores into small pieces and place in a pot. Add 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes without stirring.
- Sieve the apples through a fine fabric and leave to drain until next day.
- Measure the juice and bring to boil, add the sugar and simmer, uncovered, until some drops of the juice set on a cold plate. If you have some Calvdos in your cupboard you can add ½ cup with the sugar, just after bringing the juice to a boil.
- Skim off any scum and pour the jelly into sterilized jars. Seal jars the next day.
Stored in a cold place. Jelly will keep for months.
Makes about 8 cups
- Peel, core and cut apples into cubes. Place in a pot with water and cinnamon stick.
- Bring to a boil, and then turn down heat. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
- Take out cinnamon stick. Press apples through a sieve and then place back in the pot with the brown sugar, lemon juice zest, cloves and salt. Let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently and making sure it doesn´t burn.
- When done, pour into sterilized jars and store in a dark cool place.
Makes about 7 cups. Serve with chicken, or lamb dishes, or with blue cheese.
- Rinse jars well.
- Peel, core and cut apples into cubes.
- Place in a pot with all the other ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Divide into sterilized jars. Store in a cold dry place.
Trine Hahnemann is a Copenhagen-based chef and caterer and the author of six cookbooks, including “The Scandinavian Cookbook.” She has catered for artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Tina Turner and the Rolling Stones. Her company, Hahnemann’s Køkken, which runs in-house canteens, counts the Danish House of Parliament among its clients. Trina writes a monthly column in Denmark’s leading women’s magazine Alt for Damerne.
Photo: Apples offer countless recipe possibilities. Credit: Lars Ranek