Saying Goodbye to 2015 with home-made Apple Puree

six easy steps for home-made German apple puree

A decade ago, I picked up this odd habit/tradition of doing something new, something I've never done before, on the first day of each year. Granted I haven't always strictly followed said tradition, just like most of us seem to struggle with sticking to the New Year's resolutions we make, which is why the only New Year's resolution I make each year is not to make any. *grin*

Today I spontaneously decided not to wait until next year to do something new, something I've never done before, but instead chose to finish the last day of 2015 on a high. I made this decision when I spotted a bag of about 10 apples lying on top of my fridge, a present from a friend who visited me in hospital in November. She must have given me about three kilograms of apples when she visited. I ate about half of them while in the hospital, since the nurses kept telling me at least four times a day that healthy food was important for my recovery. Since an apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away, I was a good patient and listened to them. The result of my little unplanned experiment? An apple a day does neither keep the doctor nor the nurses away, at least not while you're hospitalised. Oh well... Getting daily visits from handsome doctors isn't a bad thing at all.

I didn't want to throw an entire bag of apples away, but I'm also not a fan of sandy-tasting apples. I love crunchy, juicy apples, the crunchier and juicer the better. I'm spoiled, what can I say... So what do you do when you're stuck with 1.5kg of apples and no desire to eat them? Well, if you're German you make apple purée.

What if you're German and currently living it up as an English teacher in China? You momentarily worry about the lack of resources when it comes to cooking Western food in China, then remember that making apple purée doesn't really require many exotic resources and finally you boldly dare yourself to go ahead with your unplanned project anyway. When you realise that you're fresh out of sugar and lemons, you curse under your breath and dash to the supermarket across the street to get the missing ingredients, even though you've only just been there to shop for supplies for the next couple of days.

Ingredients Needed:
1.5kg of apples
4-5 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
300ml of water

Making the actual apple purée is astonishingly simple. Simply peel the apples, remove the seeds and cut them up into small pieces (see third and forth photo in the photo collage at the start of this post). Don't make the pieces too small or you'll spend an entire afternoon just cutting apples, which defeats the purpose of having fun entirely.

Once done, measure 300ml of water and pour it into a pot. I don't recommend using a wok so if you're in China I really do hope you have a good, old-fashioned cooking pot. I suppose you could always try to use a wok but since I haven't tried it myself, I have no idea if the result of that wok-adventure can still be called apple purée. If you dare to try it, do send me a photo of the result as well as your thoughts and I will update this post accordingly.
Note: I warned you, so I am not accepting any responsibility for a failed wok-adventure and 1.5kg of ruined apple purée. I will however send virtual hugs, chocolate, cookies and tissues and tell you that I told you so.

Add four to five tablespoons of plain, white sugar and one tablespoon of lemon juice. You can add a little more if you like, I squeezed about a half a lemon into the water, but don't go too crazy with the lemon juice. German apple purée is supposed to be naturally sweet, not bitter as hell.

Add the apples to the pot and bring the whole mix to a boil. Stir carefully until the apple pieces are soft and mash when you continue to mix. Turn the heat down and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat off. If you want perfect purée, you better have an immersion blender. I suppose a good, old-fashioned blender (the one you use to make your smoothies with) will do the job too, but if you're not opposed to a little bit of exercise then just take a fork and happy mashing!!!

I prefer my apple purée with some bigger apple pieces in it so I just used a fork to mash it all. The finished purée can be enjoyed hot or cold. In my opinion adding a few sprinkles of cinnamon gives it a wonderful wintry taste. If you want to store it, go right ahead, use some old jars but clean them and the lids with boiling water first. This will effectively reduce chances of mould.

I kind of lied when I said that I don't make New Year's resolutions any more. I have wishing bottles...

On that note I'm wishing all my readers a very happy new year, and I'll see you in 2016!!!