Sky and Earth

The combination of potatoes and apples is a harmonious one; in Germany the two are puréed together, sprinkled with breadcrumbs and, traditionally, served with pickled blood sausage. Here the apples and potatoes are kept separate.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb (900 g) potatoes, peeled
  • 2 large cooking apples (or 3–4 pears)
  • 4 oz (110 g) butter
  • 2 oz (50 g) sugar
  • ¼ pint (150 ml) warm milk
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 lb (450 g) sausages

Method

Cook the potatoes in a little water until tender. Meanwhile remove the core from the apples, peel them and cut in half. Cook gently in a pan with 2 oz (50 g) of the butter, the sugar and a little water, until they are just soft and retain their shape. The water will evaporate leaving a buttery sauce.

Drain the potatoes and make a purée with the warm milk and 2 oz (50 g) of the butter. Season. Heat the oil and fry the onion. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Fry the sausages. On a warmed serving dish, first put the potato purée, then cover with the onion and surround with the sausages and warm apples.

‘“My belief is,” said Tracey savagely, “that music’s a fashion, and as delusive a growth as Cobbett’s potatoes, which will go back to the deadly nightshade, just as music will go back to the tom-tom.”’

From Sandra Belloni by George Meredith, 1864.

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