A cheap version of apple tea—over-sweetened and made with crystals instead of real fruit—is served to tourists in Istanbul’s grand bazaar by carpet sellers who think it will help seduce visitors into paying twice as much as a carpet is worth. If you’re not a good negotiator, it could be the most expensive tea you ever drink.
The first time I had apple tea was from a Turkish family in Australia—because the carpet sellers never saw any reason to serve it to me in Istanbul. I’ve been trying to perfect it ever since. You can use all the parts of the apple you would normally throw away, and the peppercorns, cloves and star anise add intriguing complexity. Genuine apple tea, with no hidden agenda, is the ideal accompaniment for the three little treats coming up next.
Thinly slice the apples across the core, place on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour until they are dried and browned.
Put the baked apple, lemon, cinnamon, black peppercorns, star anise and cloves in a saucepan with
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