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Swiss Apple Pasta

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Extraordinary apple spätzle from Thurgau, the apple orchard of Switzerland on the beautiful Bodensee lake between Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

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You'll find spàtzli [shpatetslee] all over German-speaking Europe, but apple spätzli for dessert is a rather unique contribution from the Swiss canton of Thurgau, right on the German border just across from where they built the Zeppelin. Apple are such a religion that the canton is sometimes called 'Mostindien' - Ciderland.

Apfelspötzli (also spätzle)
300gr flour
pinch of salt
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of cinammon
3 eggs
1 apple
1 glass apple juice
Breadcrumbs
50gr butter
More sugar and cinammon

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Sift the flour and make a well. Add the eggs. Here I used a large Moroccan gsâ bowl in cherry wood. Please excuse the funny colors, I made this and the following three pictures with a tilt-shift lens and 3 shots HDR, a bit of fancy digital trickery with modest results.

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Mix in the apple juice, sugar, salt and cinammon. Break the yolks and mix the liquid.

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Combine everything with a wooden spoon. You can also do this in a mixer.

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Add enough flour or enough liquid to obtain a smooth dough liquid enough to go through pea-sized holes (see below). You can always add a little liquid later if too hard.

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We will now mix an apple with the spätzli dough.

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Peel the apple and grate it finely ...

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... be quick and don't let it turn brown.

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As soon as you have finished grating the apple, add it to the spätzli ...

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... and mix it in. Don't let the apple turn brown.

Plan your workspace with a pot of salted boiling water in the center, a dish inside another filled with hot water to keep the spatzle hot and the spätzli dough on the side. Add a plate to put your tools down, a strainer and kitchen gloves. Ready to go!

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As a Swiss lover of world cuisine, I go to great lengths to acquire fancy pots, pans and all sorts of ethnic cookware. I'm glad to say that at last there was one cooking implement I could buy locally. This stainless steel spaetzle scraper is a metal board with holes with a circular shape to fit nicely on a pot of boiling water.

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When the water is boiling, take a ladleful of dough and drop it on the spätzli scraper.

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Use a plastic scraper to force it through the holes.

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Continue until all the dough has gone through. Here is what it looks like from below.

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Boil until the spätzli are hard. Make several batches and remove cooked spätzli to the hot bowl on the side. Add some butter and move them a little to prevent sticking.

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Remove with a sieve.

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