Apfelwein – A Perfect Drink for the Season

As we toured through the old city, called Altstadt in German, we came across a wonderful little festival that is going on through next weekend. Besides the food vendors and vendors selling art, clothing, and souvenirs, there were also booths for wine and even better, Apfelwein, or apple wine. It isn’t actually a wine, but is actually a hard cider fermented from pressed apples. Unlike hard ciders that you find in the United States, this wasn’t as fruity, but rather more like a mild beer and quite delicious. It is always served in a lattice-patterned glass called a Gerippte and for larger groups you can get blue and gray pitchers called Bembels.

Apfelwien in Glasses
Apfelwien in Glasses
Festival Sign
Festival Sign
Clowning Around
Clowning Around

Although we have already had our fair share of local beers already, trying the Apfelwein was truly enjoyable, especially with the cool brisk autumn air and the leaves changing on the trees around us. Nothing seems to bring out the taste of autumn like apple and what better way to get that than an outstanding adult beverage. Not that we aren’t going to get our fill of apple strudel as well. Sitting in the old pubs, like the one in the town square called Alten Limpburg, is a great way to people watch, chat with the locals, and enjoy a nice pint of beer or refreshing glass of wine.

Sitting Inside of the Pub
Sitting Inside of the Pub
Sitting Outside in the Town Square
Sitting Outside in the Town Square

We have learned a lot about the local Riesling wines as well as beers like Hefeweizen, which actually comes in more varieties that just light wheat, but we’ll share more about those another post. For now, sit back and imagine yourself enjoying a refreshing, fizzly, cider that will make you feel relaxed and ready for the upcoming winter. We have had a long day today as we went back to work for this first time since we moved to Frankfurt, so the vacation is over, but the explorations are not. We will enjoy the free time that we have, but for now we don’t have to imagine a glass of Apfelwien, we will go and relax with one to end our day and recuperate for tomorrow. 😀

Plenty of Good Beer to be Found
Plenty of Good Beer to be Found
Alten Limpburg Crest
Alten Limpburg Crest

 

Miniature Apple Pies

We were thinking about what to do for dessert on Thanksgiving and we decided to go with apple pie instead of doing our traditional pumpkin cheesecake (which is also delicious).  We try to make the holidays, or anytime we entertain, as relaxing as possible, so we try to prep as much ahead of time as possible.  We also like the idea of individual portions, so the miniature pies worked out perfectly.  We didn’t make the pies in advance, though, so we were left trying to figure how to make the pies without having to do a bunch of last-minute prepping.  It was our daughter who came up with the ideal solution.  We cooked the filling in a slow cooker, allowing us to focus on dinner while the apples simmered away during the day.  It turned out perfect.  The original pie recipe was from one of our mothers, the miniature pie maker was a gift from our other mother, and our daughter came up with the idea to slow cook the filling, truly a family affair.  Not only did it turn out to be easy to make, but it was truly delicious.  Although we made miniature pies, the same recipe will work for a regular pie, you would just double the recipe and bake the filling inside of the pie crust instead of making it ahead of time.

Miniature Apple Pie
Miniature Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 4 Granny Smith Apples – cored, peeled, and diced
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Fresh Grated Nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 sheets Pie Crust – pre-made or you can make your own
  • Dash of Salt
Apple Pie Filling
Apple Pie Filling
Miniature Apple Pies
Miniature Apple Pies

Instructions

Spray the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray and turn on to low.  Core, peel, and dice the apples and add to the slow cooker.  Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, sugar, butter, and salt.  Stir the apples until they are well coated.  Cover and simmer on low in the slow cooker for about 6 hours, stirring occasionally,  until the filling is juicy and the apples are tender.  Turn off the slow cooker and let the filling cool to room temperature.  Following the instructions for the miniature pie maker, place the bottom crusts into the pie maker, add the filling, place the top crust over the filling and cook for 8 to 12 minutes until the crust is golden brown.  Makes 4 miniature pies.

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Apple Pie Filling in Slow Cooker
Apple Pie Filling in Slow Cooker
Miniature Pie Maker with Apple Pies
Miniature Pie Maker with Apple Pies
Apple Pie
Apple Pie