i don’t know if it’s because of my dutch heritage, of if their effect is universal, but cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger are fundamentally comforting spices to me. whenever i smell them i think of winter, warm fires, and my mum.
now that the weather’s cooling down, i’m making this simple recipe not just to eat, but to make the house smell delicious…

winter spiced apples

6 apples
1 clove
1/4 tsp dutch cinnamon
a pinch of ground ginger
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp water


  • peel and core apples, then chop them into small chunks
  • place all spices in mortar and pestle, and grind until the clove is completely crushed and all spices are combined
  • place all ingredients in a small saucepan over a low heat. cover, and simmer gently for 15 mins, then remove lid and continue to simmer until apples soften and begin to break down, and liquid reduces
  • remove from heat, and either freeze, or serve immediately.

we like to eat this with custard, or on top of porridge. it’s also nice with a spoonful of natural yoghurt.

i sometimes add about 1/4 cup of sultanas or raisins to the pot while it’s simmering, for something slightly different.