“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.“ We all heard it as kids, and there is more than a grain of truth to it. Apples are chock-full of vitamins and keep you healthy. A Base for some tasty cakes and desserts
Temptation was simply too great: Adam and Eve were banished from Paradise because they picked the forbidden fruit from the tree. That is, at least, what the Bible tells us about the most famous of apples. The first couple was not alone in their weakness for this excellent fruit. For centuries, apples represented wealth, love, fertility and even power: the Christian “orb and cross” symbol is known as “Reichsapfel” (imperial apple) in German. We tend to consider the apple a domestic fruit, but it is native to Central and Western Asia. The Greeks and Romans ultimately introduced it to
Peeled or not?
Apple peel is more than just a colourful wrapper. It contains an abundance of healthy substances – even more than the actual flesh of the fruit. Large amounts of carotenoids protect your eyesight; they guard your skin from UV rays and keep it supple. The apple peel also contains most of the fibre, antioxidants and vitamin C. In a way, it is the most important part of the fruit – just make sure you give it a thorough rinse before eating it.
A booster for your immune system
Apples contain a blend of eleven vitamins, twelve minerals and trace elements: they are nutritional powerhouses. Not only do their vitamins strengthen your immune system and keep the common cold away in the winter, apples also contain plenty of flavonoids, secondary metabolites that have been found to lower the risk of colon cancer. The fibre contained in the fruit also benefits the colon. It regulates the digestive system and stimulates metabolic processes. Quercetin, another important phytochemical, has a preventive effect on asthma and improves your general lung function.
Few calories, plenty of water
One apple contains around 50 calories and consists of 85 per cent water. This makes apples ideal snacks that can even promote weight loss. The dietary fibre pectin swells inside the stomach, which stimulates the digestive system and leaves you feeling satiated for longer.
Out of the fruit bowl
There are more than 25,000 different apple varieties (“cultivars”) in the world. What they all have in common: They should not share a bowl with other fruit, as they emit ethylene, a ripening agent. Apples should always be stored away from other fruit and vegetables.
Apples are more than just a source of vitamins. They excel in desserts and baked goods, too. Every apple region has its own, traditional speciality from apple strudel to baked apples.
Belgium: Belgium is world-famous for its incredible waffles. Apple juice or grated apples add moisture and a lovely, autumnal flavour.
Germany: Baked apples really hit the spot during cold autumn and winter evenings. They are filled with nuts, almonds, cinnamon and sugar and smell just as heavenly as they taste.
Netherlands: “Appeltaart” is the quintessential Dutch pastry. Allegedly, this covered apple cake has been around since the Middle Ages.
Austria: Apple strudel is one of Austria‘s national dishes. The tasty treat originally came from the Arab region; the Turks brought it to Austria.
Switzerland: Juicy apple slices covered in sweet, fried dough: Apfelküchle with custard are a traditional Swiss delicacy.
For the dough:
300 g flour, 1 egg
180 g cold butter
150 g brown sugar
Zest of 1 organic lemon
1 pinch of salt
For the filling:
4 large apples (best Boskoop)
1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cornstarch
100 g raisins
Preheat oven to 200°C. Separate egg, put egg white aside. Mix flour and sugar, add butter bit by bit and knead. Add the egg yolk, salt and lemon zest and work everything into a smooth dough. Form the dough to a ball and leave wrapped in clingfilm in the fridge for 45 min. In the meantime peel the apples, core them and dice them. Mix with cinnamon, sugar and cornflour, fold in the raisins. With 3/4 of the rolled dough, line the greased spring-clip tin, including the edge, and spread the apple-raisin mixture upon it. Cut the remaining dough into strips and spread it, lattice shaped, on the apple mass. Brush the strips with egg whites, bake for 60 minutes at 200°C. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin.
Crunchy! The most popular cultivars
This Dutch winter apple has a fruity, tangy flavour. It is a popular ingredient in all sorts of apple cakes. Ready to pick: September/October. Ready to eat: November to April.
This juicy, sweet cultivar can be eaten fresh or made into juice or apple sauce. Ready to pick: September/October. Ready to eat: October to July.
This sweet and fruity apple is Germany‘s favourite. It has a hint of tartness and is very tasty in apple strudel, but it really comes into its own when eaten fresh. Ready to pick: September/October. Ready to eat: September to May.
This cultivar has a yellowish green hue and a delicate flavour. It is often used for cultivating new types (e.g. Jonagold, Elstar) or making fruit brandy. Ready to pick: September/October. Ready to eat: October to July.
Originally from New Zealand, this cultivar is also grown in Southern Europe. Braeburn apples are ideal for compote and juice thanks to their tart sweetness. Ready to pick: October. Ready to eat: November to April
This sweet and sour apple has been cultivated in England since 1825. It is the progenitor of various other popular cultivars (eg. Holsteiner Cox, Elstar, Gala). Ready to pick: September. Ready to eat: September to March.
This cultivar originally comes from New Zealand. Small and sweet, it is a typical dessert apple and especially popular with children. Ready to pick: September. Ready to eat: September to December.