Tag Archives: applesauce

Swiss Cheese in a Recipe That Will Surprise You

Here’s a dish just made for mountain climbers. Carbs on top of carbs on top of carbs. And Swiss cheese, of course.

source of Swiss cheese

Swiss Dairy cows. Photo by Richard Cassan

Writing about those Swiss dairy farmers has definitely made me think about Swiss cheese, in this case, the distinctive Emmenthaler.  I found this web site that claims to be sharing the Top 10 Swiss Foods.  Not all are from Bern, where Ken’s ancestors hail from, but many are.

Naturally,when Ken’s Swiss ancestors donned their aprons, they cooked what they grew and what they made from products they grew. That meant dairy products, goat’s milk and pork and sausage from the farmer’s pigs.

Some of the dishes shared in the article don’t need a recipe, like Berneplatte–a plate of meat (mostly sausage or ham), cheese, and maybe some sauerkraut. It’s the German Swiss version of the antipasto platter in Italy.

And then there is the old standard Fondue–which is much more fun with a party than just for two people, so I’m not going to re-test any of my old Fondue recipes.

I remember Raclette fondly.  A hunk of cheese is heated in front of the fire and scraped onto the plate as it melts, to be scooped up with bread.

raisin nut pie

A piece of Raisin-Nut pie

Some of my favorite Swiss recipes have nothing to do with cheese–although milk is important like the Raisin Nut Pie of Ken’s Grandmother Ida Badertscher.

I also enjoyed Muesli in Switzerland, but was surprised to learn it was only developed in 1900, so Ken’s ancestors would have left before it became a standard breakfast.

But the dish that caught my eye combines potatoes and macaroni, cream and cheese, and is topped–would you believe?– with applesauce. Try Älplermagronin with your Emmenthaler.

macaroni with swiss cheese

Single serving of carb-rich  Alplermagronin with Swiss Cheese

Up until you add the potatoes and top with applesauce, it sounds like a standard mac and cheese. Easy to make, filling meal for farm hands (and growing children) and inexpensive, particularly if you were making your own Emmenthaler cheese, rather than buying the expensive imported stuff we have to rely on in the U.S. Of course you can use some other Swiss cheese other than Emmenthaler, but it definitely is the tastiest.  And substitute bacon for ham for another switch in taste.

Swiss Macaroni with Applesauce


  • 2-3 potatoes (Peeled and cubed. About two cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked macaroni (Any shape is okay.)
  • 1 cup heavy crean
  • 1 1/2-2 cup Emmenthaler or other Swiss cheese (grated)
  • 1 cup ham (cubed (or 6 strips bacon, broken))
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion (sliced (optional))


1. Put potato cubes in boiling water, and cook for five minutes
2. Add macaroni to potatoes and cook according to package directions (8-10 minutes).
3. Drain macaroni and return to pan. Pour in milk and add bacon or ham. Stir in salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.
4. Put half of macaroni/potato mixture in casserole. Layer with half of the grated cheese. Follow with rest of macaroni and then rest of cheese.
5. Saute onion slices (in saved bacon grease if you are using bacon), and top the casserole.
6. Put in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese melts and cream bubbles.
7. Serve with a large spoonful of applesauce on top.


I can't eat onions, so I left them out, but I think the dish would have been much tastier with onions.

Some recipes call for merely heating the cheese in the pan with the cream after cooking the macaroni and potatoes. I liked the slight crust you get from baking briefly.

I also saw a recipe that added 1/2 cup wine.

Do use heavy cream. I used a fat-free 1/2 and 1/2 and it was too runny.



Apple Pie Flavored Applesauce in Herloom Glass Bowl

Apples are such a mainstay of American cooking, that I have written about several ways to prepare them, but I have not talked about the simplest thing to do with a surplus of apples–make homemade applesauce. My grandmother (Vera Stout Anderson) cooked apples frequently. So it is only fitting that I follow the #52 Ancestors theme of the week, and serve the applesauce in Grandma’s pressed glass bowl.

Grandma had an old apple tree on the back of her Killbuck Ohio property and the apples were tiny but tasty, so although I don’t recall seeing her pick them, I suspect that some of those delicious stewed apples she made came from that tree. (I tinkered with that recipe, too, adding molasses instead of sugar.)

A Basket of Apples

I found a way to give my applesauce a little twist in flavor that makes it taste just like apple pie. Yum! Warning: This is a recipe where you have to trust your taste buds. Every variety of apple has a different amount of sugar, and even within varieties the sugar level will vary from month to month, so there is no way to get it properly seasoned except to taste, add, taste again. Only four ingredients here, with one more optional.

Apple Pie Applesauce

To make one quart plus a bit:

Wash, core, and cut in quarters or eighths about ten to twelve apples. (No need to peel).

Put them in a large saucepan and add water up to about half the height of the apples. If you cover them with water, you’ll just have to boil it away later, losing valuable nutrients.

Heat to a simmer, and simmer until you can easily puncture through the skin with a fork.

Let cool slightly and put in blender, or better yet, use a blender wand to mash them fine. (Poor Grandma, she had to use a potato masher.)


A new twist on a vintage recipe served in an heirloom bowl.

Taste for sweetness and add a little sugar if you think it needs it.  Go slowly. You won’t need much sugar, if you want to keep the apple taste.  I added NO sugar to the batch I made with Liberty apples.

Sprinkle some nutmeg over. Taste. Again, this amount needs to be increased very slowly, with lots of tasting to be sure you don’t overdo it.

Finally, the secret ingredient that makes it taste like apple pie–add 1/2 teaspoon or so of vanilla extract.

Should fill a quart jar with maybe some left over.  Chill.

If you want it to taste even more like apple pie, heat the applesauce and add a pat of butter and serve it warm. (I’m making me hungry).

Grandma’s Glass Bowl

Heirloom glass bowl

Side view of Grandma’s glass bowl with scalloped edge

This is definitely not the fanciest antique that I have in my collection, but I love it because I remember it always being used on my Grandma Vera’s table.  It no doubt belonged to her mother, and so I speculate it dates from the late 1800’s. I tried doing a Google Image Search to find out something about this bowl, and while that has worked for other of the artifacts I inherited, I failed to find anything.

Heirloom Glass Bowl

Top down view of grandma’s glass blowl showing the distinctive leaf/petal pattern.

I would welcome any information anyone might have on this type of bowl. There is no hallmark on the bottom.

Heirloom glass bowl

Upside-down view of Grandma Vera’s Glass Bowl