Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Swiss Apple Spätzle (Spaetzle)

I have recently discovered a fabulous blog called FXCuisine written by François-Xavier from the shores of Lake Geneva.  It has everything a great blog should: gorgeous photography, captivating stories, clearly written recipes, and pounds (or kilograms in this case) of butter.  The only reason I haven't been cooking from it all the time is the inaccessible rustisity phenomenon (IRP).  Legs of lamb get roasted over an open hearth and pasta shapes require very particular equipment.  It's kind of like molecular gastronomy recipes that require you to build a small nuclear reactor in your kitchen.  I call that molecular gastronomy phenomenon (MGP).  You read, you fantasize, and leave it at that.  But there was an FXCuisine recipe, Swiss Apple Spaetzle that was completely accessible to me and was only waiting for the right kind of apple -- honeycrisp.  I saw it in the store today and in about 20 minutes, the spaetzle was ready.  It was applicious!  The idea of a dessert pasta might sound strange to you, but I grew up on blueberry and cherry vareniki (Ukrainian pierogies), so apple spaetzle felt like a happy childhood memory I made as an adult.

Thanks François-Xavier!

Here is my adaptable of the recipe.

Special equipment: You’ll need a small-hole grater and a spaetzle maker.

Serves 6-8 for dessert

For the batter:
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp table salt)
7.5 oz unbleached all-purpose flour (about 1.5 cups scooped and leveled)
2 apples (Honeycrips, Granny Smith, or Cortland)

To finish the dish:
1/3 cup home-made breadcrumbs (or panko)
1/4 cup calvados
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (a good squirt)
2 Tbsp sugar (or to taste)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)

  1. Peel and grate the apples on the small-hole grater.   Don’t squeeze out the juice – you need it in the batter.    
  2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and salt with a whisk.  Using a rubber spatula, stir in 8 oz of grated apples (about 1 cup).  Stir in flour to form a thick batter.  Let it rest 10 minutes.
  3. Heat water to a boil in a saucepan that is narrow enough so that the short ends of the spaetzle machine can rest on its rim. 
  4. Combine breadcrumbs in a large skillet (ideally non-stick) with 2 Tbsp butter and cook over medium heat stirring often until golden.  Remove from skillet and set aside. 
  5. Add calvados to skillet and boil it down to reduce in half.  Take off heat. 
  6. Salt the boiling water lightly and reduce heat to medium.  Set the spaetzle maker over a piece of foil and set the square container in the tracks.  Fill the square container with batter.  Set the spaetzle maker over boiling water and remove the foil so that the batter can start to pour out.  Move the square container quickly back and forth along the tracks until all the batter is in the pot.  Stir with a slotted spoon to make sure no pieces are stuck to the bottom.
  7. When spaetzle float, transfer them with a slotted spoon to the skillet with calvados.  Add remaining 2 Tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces, and a quirt of lemon.  Stir well.  Repeat with remaining batter until all spaetzle is cooked.
  8. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and mix to distribute.  Top with breadcrumbs and serve immediately. 


Sally said...

Love Spaetzle and with this recipe of combining it with apple makes it perfect. Great blog!

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emiglia said...

I love that blog as well, but he's stopped posting recently... I wonder if he'll start up again?

I also made his recipes for meatballs, bolognese and broccoli with red wine... all accessible and all delicious. This one will be next on my list!