Wednesday, 18 March 2009

I get it wrong

Just in case you missed the interesting comments about cooking apples, I have summarised them ………

I asserted that cooking apples are uniquely British. I seem to have got it a bit wrong - how I hate those words!

Collin reminded me that the Dutch have cooking apples too and tantalised me with the Dutch variant of pancakes that uses cooking apples with some apple butter on top.

And next door, Anne in Flanders, Belgium chastised me ‘Excuse me! Only cooking apples in the UK?’

I was particularly interested in the three types of apples they grow:

'Hand appels', 'hand-apples' are apples that you eat raw, just 'out of your hand'. Varieties she names are: 'Schone van Boskoop' (that makes also a very good 'moesappel'), sterreinette, and - my favourite in our garden, Reinette Hernaut.
'Moes appels', are ideal to use for apple-sauce, or for use in pies like, Bramley's seedling, Schone van Boskoop and Lotharinger rambour.
Sometimes a distinction is made between 'moesappels' (for apple-sauce) and 'bak-appels' (for pies).
And some varieties are even called 'droog appels' because they are excellent for drying. Dubbele Zoete Aagt, Zoete bloemee...

Keefo told me that they are common in many New Zealand gardens and home orchards, although he doubts if they're grown commercially any longer.

So, I stand corrected here. Cooking apples are clearly common in the Low Countries and settlers took them across to the antipodies where they are still enjoyed today.

I was particularly interested in Anne’s ‘droogappels’. I am guessing that these are apples with a high dry-matter content. I am not aware that drying apples has been a practice in England and would love to hear from anyone who knows about this.

We are hoping to visit Bruges in the summer and will look out especially for any information.

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