indulging myself in a bounty of fresh summer fruits, I was still not quite ready for apples. Sure, I saw the season's first apples as early as mid August, but I like them the best in late fall, and usually pass up those early-autumn varieties. And quite frankly, I wasn't done with summer fruits just yet. After all, in just a few months there will be few fresh fruits available but apples at the stores, so why hurry now?
Yet last week or so at a local green market, I found something that intrigued me, and it happened to be apples.
The leaflet suggested that you put one of those apples in a room or a car, as if they are a room/car fragrance. I could easily imagine that. What was more interesting to me was this little note that said "they are OK to eat"; what did they mean, exactly, by this? We guessed that they would be not inedible but not palatable, but not certain. Since nobody at the market could answer our question as they had never tried them either ("they are a new variety and just arrived today", they said), I decided to find it out by myself and took a case home with me.
And quick googling taught me that Rose Husk is a relatively new cultivar developed and marketed as ornamental apples, and perfectly edible raw - unlike, say, crab apples. That said, they weren't exactly tasty; let's just say I wouldn't bother to eat them raw, especially when there are plenty of other apples that taste great cooked or uncooked. Yes, "they are OK to eat". Precisely.
So our next question(s): would they taste good/better when cooked? And would they still smell like a rose when cooked? Would they make apple jam that smells like a rose?
this recipe (in Japanese), which is a quite simple one; you make your jam with apples peeled, but add the peels to the pan to tint the jam pink. Well, my jam turned out more orange than pink, and perhaps not exactly a typical sort of pink that you'd associate with roses, but still pretty. And no, it didn't smell so much of roses, unfortunately, but smelled nice still.
Another question: would they still smell like a rose when soaked in booze?
this experiment intrigued me and prompted me to try it myself - not four different samples, but just the one with apples replaced every few days to give the booze a fresher flavor. A few days into steeping the concoction smells nice, so far - again, not rosy, no, but fine. Let's see how it turns out in a couple of weeks.
Next up: would they still smell like a rose when... well, never mind.
And as though this hadn't been enough, I tried my hand at another this-is-supposed-to-look-like-a-rose thing:
Whatever you call it, it is basically just a gelatin dessert with apple compote and quite simple to make. Except it wasn't so for someone like me who is all thumbs with this kind of things (remember my disastrous ichigo daifuku? - there are reasons why you don't find elegant entremets or elaborately decorated cupcakes around here). Carefully putting together these 'petals' of thin, fragile slices of cooked apples in an attempt to make a 'rose' was definitely not my kind of thing - honestly, I don't know what got into me!
Anyhow, a little more about the dessert: the apple compote was made in more or less the same way I did with the apple jam mentioned above, by poaching thinly sliced apples along with the peels, as well as a bit of sugar, juice of lemon, and some white wine. I must say I was very tempted to add rose wine here to make the apples really pink, but didn't; this muted shade of pink was pretty in its own way, I decided. I did add rose wine to the cooking liquid for the gelatin part, though.
being in Nagano means there will be a lot of them in my near future. A few more peaches and some grapes, and I shall be ready for apples.