It's definitely apple season in Switzerland—and that means fresh apple juice.
Most—süss, sauer, or schorle
Freshly pressed apple (and pear) juice can be found all over Switzerland, from your local market to your local Migros, for a limited time in the fall.
Referred to as Most or Moscht in German speaking Switzerland, the apple juice can be non-alcoholic, as in Süssmost, or alcoholic, as in sauer/suure Most. The name is from the Latin word for freshly pressed grapes, vinum mustum. Another variation is Afpelschorle, which dilutes the juice with a bit of sparkling water.
According to the Kulinarisches Erbe, Sauer Most stems from at least the Middle Ages when farmers would make vinegar and lightly alcoholic drinks with their apple juice. Even Charlemange had apple and pear producers making Most.
Apple juice naturally ferments after a few days, so it wasn't until until the early 1900s when pasteurization made it possible for the non-alcoholic version to be stored and sold at market. Süssmost then became popular with children and athletes...and the government, who was trying to combat alcoholism. Even during poor harvests, much of the fruit was being used to make alcoholic drinks, so the government imposed higher alcohol taxes and tried to encourage the production and consumption of the softer variety of juice.
Süssmostcreme is one of the many applications of Süssmost in Swiss kitchens, and is a light and delicious dessert.
500 ml Süssmost (apple juice)
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cinnamon
50 g sugar
100 ml cream, to garnish
In a medium pot, whisk together the eggs.
In a measuring cup, add the apple juice and lemon then, using a small sieve, sift the cornstarch and cinnamon into the liquid while whisking. Whisk in the sugar, then add to the eggs.
Over medium heat, whisk the mixture until it thickens, about 5-10 minutes.
Once it is thick and you can see the trails from the whisk, take it off the heat and continue whisking for a couple of minutes. Strain into a bowl.
Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the creme, then chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Garnish with whipped cream.
- Do sift the cinnamon—if not you may get unappetising little bits in the creme.
- For an even more cinnamon-y hit, simmer the süssmost with a cinnamon stick or two. Let cool before adding to the eggs.
- If you like a firmer, creamier pudding, whip double the amount of cream and fold it in before serving.
- You can also garnish with some nuts. Here I used walnuts, toasted them briefly in the oven, drizzled them with maple syrup, and sprinkled them with a bit of salt.