Recently I re-watched one of my favorite anime series which is Spice and Wolf. Its the a story about a young traveling merchant, Kraft Lawrence, who roams the medieval European settings peddling his goods from town to town. His dream is to gather enough currency to open up his own shop. One night while passing through a town he finds the pagan wolf-deity Holo (Horo) in his cart. Horo has taken human form and appears as a 15 year old girl except with wolf's ears and tail. Leaving her responsibilities of blessing the towns harvest behind she accompanies Lawrence who agrees to escort her to the northern countries. As they travel her wisdom helps increase Lawrence's profits while her true nature begins to draw unwanted attention from the church.
Horo has an incredible love for fruit, especially Apples, and in one of the episodes Lawrence mentions a method of preserving and eating Apples (fruit) that is fit only for nobles. Lawrence goes on to describe how people would preserve fruit in honey and spice, which in turn makes the fruit even sweeter.
Naturally this inspired me to try it myself and I found a few good recipes of varying accuracy. Here is a combination of what I think will give the best yet authentic results.
HONEY AND SPICE PICKLED APPLES
4 cups water
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sherry vinegar
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
3 star anise
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon allspice berries
zest of one lemon
10 sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced into rings (or cut into wedges, if you prefer)
* Combine everything but the apples in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes
* Put the rings (or wedges) into jars and ladle the hot liquid over the apples
* Add the ginger slices and star anise.
* Screw on lids to jars and refrigerate for up to 3 months
I hope you enjoyed this post, until next time, carry on cooking.