On weekday mornings the only thing stewing may be the commuters in traffic jams; on Saturday mornings there is time to be spent stewing more productively. Today it was apples.
I bought dried apples in the market in Pristina a while ago. Not the spongy blonde rings you get in Holland and Barrett but leathery old curled up slices with the skin still on them, the colour of tobacco. These are attic apples, musty and sour. When I tried eating them by the handful as I would have done with my Holland and Barrett purchase, they made my mouth pucker.
They are apples for stewing. Slowly, and into water sweetened with honey. I chose a forest honey from Serbia and gave it a kick with some grated ginger from the herbalist in the old quarter of Pristina. I boiled and simmered the ingredients together, until the air in the kitchen was sweet and steamy, with the faint urine tang that apple and honey has.
The withered apples plumped up in the water and when the mixture had reduced to something spicy and sticky I took it off the heat.
I ate the delicious mixture on oats as a tasty breakfast. There was still some left to be eaten with custard at lunchtime. There’s just enough for a bowl for breakfast tomorrow, and by leaving the juices standing, the ginger steeping in the honey liquid, the apples slowly swelling further, I think tomorrow’s portion may be even better.