Thursday, August 16, 2007

Apple pudding with milk, and international tongue twisters

When you move to a new country and learn a new language, the locals inevitably present you with various tongue-twisters. Something difficult and tricky, so they could have a laugh when you say that. In Estonia, foreigners are often asked to say 'Jüriöö ülestõus' - scarily confusing when you look at the words (what's with all those dots and tildes and long vowels and diphthongs?), but not so difficult to pronounce, actually, as long as you know how each of the letters is to sound. Jüriöö ülestõus, by the way, means St George's night uprising - something that happened way back in 1343 here in Estonia.

In Denmark, they've got a much trickier tongue twister: rødgrød med fløde - a name of a lovely Danish red berry pudding with cream. That, let me tell you, is much more difficult to pronounce than 'Jüriöö ülestõus'. I know, as I spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student in 1992-1993 and was asked to say those three words more than once. And the term is not just used to make fun of innocent exchange students - apparently it was used to tell German infiltrators posing as Danes during the Second World War - not even the most talented inflitrators could pronounce this one correct, you see.

And how is all that related to this post? Well, there's a much easier-sounding alternative to rødgrød med fløde, and that's æblegrød. Æblegrød, of course, is apple pudding. I used some beautiful local sõstraroosa or "redcurrant pink" apples (see photo here) that we had picked up at the farm last weekend. They were a bit underripe, so not so good for eating, but they did make a most beautiful and delicious apple pudding..

Apple pudding with milk
Serves 4, can be easily doubled or tripled
Recipe adapted from an old issue of Nõukogude Naine or Soviet Woman:)

500 grams apples (cored weight), cubed
100 grams sugar
100 ml water
a cinnamon stick or some vanilla extract (optional)

Peel* and core the apples, cut into chunks. Place apple chunks, sugar and water into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring regularly, until apples have turned opaque and you've got a thick mush.
Season with cinnamon (adding the stick in the beginning) or vanilla extract (adding it at the end).
Cool, serve with cold milk. Or with vanilla custard, if you insist.

* I never peel apples from our own garden, as they're 'uncertified organic'. If you use supermarket-bought apples, I'd definitely peel them first.


Meeta said...

Tongue twisters here or there - the dessert sounds like a tongue teaser Pille! Simple but so wonderful!

joey said...

I wish I could say both words/phrases! That apple pudding is just gorgeous Pille...I love the pink! :)

DaviMack said...

Once again, such a wonderful post!

My wife keeps asking me if I want to move to Estonia ... and, I must say, your posts make it seem quite attractive. :)

Lydia said...

This looks like a lovely applesauce, however tough it is to pronounce!

thepassionatecook said...

our favourite austrian tongue twister is oachkatzlschwaof or squirrel's tail. not something i'd necessarily cook for you, though!

Baking Soda said...

I can do Rodgrod med flode! Now the other ones....mmm
In Holland we used our guttural G to trick German infiltrators with something like: "gerookte vis met graten in Scheveningen"...
Your applepudding has the most gorgeous color!

Susan said...

Hmm...these sound like our pink lady apples, which I just adore. I've never made apple pudding, but I know I'd love it based on your recipe and photo. Thanks for introducing me to it.

katiez said...

Ha! My apples are 'uncertified organic' too! I just don't know when they're ready to pick. It's the old taste and pucker method right now.
Your pudding looks lovely!
I'm very good with American tounge-twisters, have caused great laughter here in France. I entertained the neighborhood one day saying 'ordinateur' (computer) I still don't know what I was doing wrong, but they thought it was hilarious! "Say it again"...

Garrett said...

Beautiful blog you have, I am so glad I found it!

Paz said...

I'd have a problem pronouncing the phrases/words above but I wouldn't have a problem eating your apple pudding with milk. ;-)


Anna said...

how did you get that beautiful pink colour? is it from the apple peel?

valentina said...

The colour is soo beautiful! Really lovely way to prepare those apples.

Pille said...

Meeta & Joey - thank you for your sweet words!

DaviMack - thank you:) Do you or your wife have any Estonian connections? Just curious:)

Lydia - would õunapuder be easier? That's the Estonian word:)

Johanna - I definitely cannot pronounce that one!!! Oachkatzlschwaof?!? I doesn't sound edible indeed:)

Baking Soda - and what does gerookte vis met graten in Scheveningen stands for?

Susan - they're not as crisp as "Pink Lady" apples, but the colour is similar indeed. I'm sure Pink Ladies would make a good apple pudding, however, so hopefully you give this dessert recipe a go!

Katie - for cooking and baking, I use always 'fallen' apples. It's only for storing in the cellar, that we 'pick' them off the branches.. And sorry to hear you they give you hard time over 'ordinateur' :)

Garrett - thank you, and welcome! Hope you'll come back soon!

Paz - I'm glad to hear that:)

Anna- yes, you're right - the colour must be because I didn't peel the apples, as the apple flesh is rather pale on its own.

Valentina - I loved the colour, too!

DaviMack said...

I'm afraid that you're our only connection to Estonia, Pille. But so far it's a good one. :)

ScienceMel said...

Hi Pille,

Great cultural history about the tongue twisters. In the States, we often get folks to say, "Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers."


Pille said...

DaviMack - thank you for the compliment:)

ScienceMel - our equivalent for that would be pisikesed punase peaga poisid põrutasid piritale purjetama. Or something like that..