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.