Latvian Apple Soup with Apple Dumplings
(Abolu zupa ar kilkeniem)
This is quite lovely--a cool, pure, deeply apple brew with a nice crispy bite to the broth and a light chewiness to the lemony apple dumplings, all topped with crème fraîche (which you should start to make a couple days before, if you can't buy it outright--recipe below) and a dusting of cinnamon. It's rich and filling, sweet-tart, very appley, and a nice presentation in small glass bowls. Serve cold to 6 people as a dessert course--or as a first course to grilled pork chops and vegetables in the summertime.
THE APPLE BROTH
THE APPLE DUMPLINGS
Bring 3 cups of water, the juice of half a lemon, and 1/4 cup of sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan and let it boil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low. Drop small balls of dumpling dough from the end of a spoon into the broth and let them poach until they rise to the surface, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain, until all the dumplings are cooked. When they are cool, add them to the soup and return the whole pot to the refrigerator for a final chilling.
Garnish: crème fraîche, which you can make the day or two before by stirring 1 Tablespoon of buttermilk into 1 cup of cream and cooking it over medium-low heat until it is lukewarm (not simmering!). Pour into a jar, cover, and let thicken at room temperature. This could take a couple days or less--when it's the way you want it, stick it in the refrigerator til you're ready to use it.