I’m a very indoorsy kind-a-guy but if there is one that could persuade me getting a house in the country side, it’s the prospect of growing my own apples. And pears… and, heck, quinces too. Denmark is blessed with a climate pretty much perfect for growing apples. The long mild, some say cold, windy and God awful, summer gives all the aromas and tastes time to develop from lovely suave colored blossoms in the spring into scrumptious green or red containers of flavor and joy during the fall. Unfortunately this is not something very many appreciate, so buying locally grown apples can be tricky. Sometimes down right impossible as supermarkets rarely carry Danish apples on a regular basis leaving you with a choice of green Grannies polished to match a shoe shiners add or red non-descript varieties.
Despite many supermarkets disdain for locally grown produce, the high end chefs have discovered the wonders of apples. With the whole Nordic food revolution these years, especially championed by Rene Redzepi and Claus Meyer at noma, you see apples going into all sorts of dishes, not just the sweet. We like to use them in salats, one of the current regulars is very thinly sliced brussel sprouts and apples (Belle de Boskoop or Cox Orange) dressed with olive and walnut oil, salt, apple vinegar and little sugar for balance. Claus Meyer has also developed a selection of excellent fruit vinegars, e.g. three apple types: an apple cider, a balsamic and an ordinary apple vinegar. They are all great and a part of our pantries.
All this being said, it’s still difficult finding good apples outside specialty stores and farmer markets. Enter friends and family! Last night we had a small family get-together meeting up early, just having a salad, bread and cheese. Berit, my sister-in-law, brought along a batch of her father’s homemade apple juice. As it is probably clear by now, not only am I a indoorsy kind-a-guy but an apple kind-a-guy too, so what better gift to bring along.
The juice was made a month or so ago from extracting the juice of a whole bunch of apples and then frozen. No heat extracting mechanisms or pasteurizing or worse here. Just the nectar. We thawed it over night, and ahh… this morning I had a glass. It was thick and velvety leaving a slight residue reminding me of the fact that this is the real non-filtered thing. The taste was all Danish fall apples, sweet and slightly tangy – just right in my opinion. And just the thing to get myself convinced that an apple orchard probably isn’t such a bad idea after all. Even for an indoorsy kind-a-guy.