Book review: The Best of Apples

What’s new in my cookbook library

The Best of Apples

Looking for ideas on how to decorate cakes, I came across this wee book on TradeMe (NZ’s equivalent of EBay and Craigslist): The Best of Apples.  Offered for the huge sum of $2.60 (including postage), it was too good to pass up.

Published and bound in Italy in 1995 (which doesn’t seem that long ago but when I begin to count back the years, 19 years have flown by), there are no fancy photographs to entice one to try the recipes.  1995 is the year of my marriage to the Anster and I like to think way back then, when we were fresh and green, bookstores in Italy were selling this wee book of Apples recipes.  Now, a whole 19 years later (and us not so fresh nor so green), it arrives on my doorstep in New Zealand.

Having collected a few apple cookbooks over the past few years, it is interesting to find new, interesting or just plain weird ideas on how to eat apples.  There are the usual offering of chicken with apples, herring with apples (is that usual or unusual???) and Waldorf salad.  The Salade Parisienne sounds positively awful with potatoes, celery, carrots, apples and bananas…..I was ok with it until the bananas. Despite the cook book having no enticing photographs, a quick google or two turns up several recipes (mostly in French but French for banana is banane and I can’t find any banane in the on-line recipes for Salade Parisienne (which is a good thing in my books).  Salade Parisienne seems to be one of those dishes like cobbler – everyone has a different version and theirs is definitely cobbler even if it isn’t. One photo is a quiche, another a salad…. aha according to She’s in the kitchen, Salad Parisienne is a composed salad.  So maybe a bit like a tossed salad – no set recipe but each adds their own desired ingredients.  I’d definitely forgo the banana!  I do like bananas but not in savoury meals. Italian Apple Pancake or Southern Apple Pie sound much more appetising.

The Best of Apples

Page 32 turns up an interesting recipe for Russian Soured Apples – reading through the recipe sounds intriguing.  I can imagine making these once our blackcurrants are in leaf (recipe calls for 25g fresh blackcurrant leaves) but I can’t imagine how to use the Russian Soured Apples.  Google wasn’t much help in this instance but I did find a yummy looking Sharlotka (Russian Apple Pie/Cake) to Pin.

If any other apple lovers out there in the big wide world have this book and have tried any of the recipes, it’ll be good to hear your thoughts.  For now, I’ll be trying the Baked Rice & Apple Pudding (sounds delicious with raisins and crystallized orange peel) and Apple Cider Sauce. There are no serving suggestions for this sauce but poured over vanilla ice cream or a spiced dessert cake would be grand.

Also on the ‘to-make’ list is the Breakfast Apple Shake.  The Anster is suffering from an inflammation around the tendon on one of his legs.  As anti-inflammatories seem a bit extreme for the issue, a little search on Pinterest turns up that cinnamon is great for inflammation.  So cinnamon it is – though now that I have another look it seems that basil, black pepper, cardamom, cayenne pepper, chamomile, chives, cilantro (coriander), cloves, garlic, ginger, oregano, nutmeg, parsley, rosemary and turmeric also have anti-inflammatory properties. I am not entirely sure how much of each The Anster would need to imbibe in order for these herbs & spices to have an impact, but we’re going with extra cinnamon for now.  Most of these herbs & spices feature in our daily diet anyway.   The shake requires a pinch of cinnamon……. I think we’ll extra-spice this shake up.  How much cinnamon is too much?


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