27 September 2013

Double-boiled Chinese Pear and Red Apple Soup

I am making this sweet soup for the first time today, in my brand new ceramic double-boiler that I bought from an old-style shop near the Ipoh market.

It is a delight to visit such shops as they are crammed to the top of their shelves and on the floor with pots and pans and plates and bowls and so many other things. You can't find anything yourself, you'll have to ask the owner! I bought the ceramic double boiler, a mini Satay grill, rattan hand-fans, titanium wok, stainless steel plate and a round tea-leaf holder.

Back to this soup.

The mom of my daughter's classmate recommended this soup to me, saying it is sweet, delicious and good for the lungs and skin. I remember my mom mentioning to me about double boiling apples or pears or oranges, but my mom never did it herself.

A mother myself now, I decided to try this soup today. We Chinese love anything soupy!

2-3 large yellow Chinese pears
2-3 red apples

Very simple. Just wash the fruits and peel them (I didn't want to have the skin left on the fruits - pesticides).
Core the fruits and cut them into medium sized chunks.
Place everything into the double boiler and add 1 cup of water.
Boil away for about 2 hours.

I didn't add any rock sugar, so it tastes very natural, with the fragrance of apple and pear. If you would like it sweeter (my little girl screwed up her little nose in displeasure because it wasn't sweet enough), you'll have to add some rock sugar, or perhaps more red apples and some dried figs. My boy said it was fine (he takes after me, not much of a sweet tooth).

Googling around, I found other similar recipes. Some just use the pear or apple on their own, like my attempt today. Variations include adding sweet & bitter almonds (to alleviate coughs), dried figs, wolfberries (wonder berry!) and chuan bei mu (Bulbus Fritillariae Cirrhosae) (to nourish lungs).


(Chuan bei mu and wolfberry pictures from Wikipedia)

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